Baby Eating Habits

How to tell if your infant is getting enough milk through nursing.

When you are bottlefeeding your baby, it is easy to tell if your baby is getting enough to eat. You can just read how many ounces your baby has eaten. When the bottle is finished, you can rest assured that your baby is getting plenty of nourishment. But when you are breastfeeding, it is not that easy. Many nursing mothers are unsure of how much milk their babies are actually getting.

Breastfeeding, without the use of bottles, makes it difficult to tell exactly how much food your baby is actually getting. Mothers don't have fluid ounces written on the sides of their breasts, so how can they tell if their baby is getting enough milk?

Most doctors will tell you that if your baby has a steady weight gain, even a few ounces a week, then they are getting enough food. But, a baby's weight gain can flucuate from week to week. If there is a problem, though, your doctor will let you know.

If your baby is eating frequently, about every two to four hours, then chances are, they are getting enough milk. A baby should eat between eight to twelve times a day. Keep track to be sure.

When your baby seems to thrive, that is a good sign of nourishment. They will be happy, alert and active.

Try to drain both breasts at each feeding. Switch back and forth from each side until both breast feel soft. Your baby should either fall asleep or seem extremely content and satisfied after they have gotten a full feeding.

The best way to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk to eat is if they are wetting their diapers about six to eight times a day and having at least two bowel movements a day. Of course, this will change when they reach six weeks of age, but by then you hopefully will have established a good nursing routine and your baby will let you know if they are getting plenty of milk to eat.

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