Is my baby getting enough milk? It’s a question I’ve had from lots of parents and understandably so. One of the hardest parts of breastfeeding is not knowing if you are producing enough milk for your baby’s needs. It challenges your need for order and routine so when your baby cries, it will leave you wondering if they are hungry.
Your breasts are amazing at producing enough milk for your baby as long as they get enough stimulation. Your baby will need to feed between 2 and 4 hourly, depending on their age, weight and whether they are drinking breast milk or formula milk. In the early days, it is necessary to breastfeed on demand as this helps to establish a good milk supply.
Although we don’t recommend timing feeds, your baby is likely to breastfeed for 20- 40 minutes in the first 6 weeks. This period will become shorter as your baby gets older. The fact that they feed for a shorter period does not mean you have less milk, it means that your milk is probably flowing more quickly. And because your little one is more efficient at sucking and swallowing, they are getting more milk.
Signs your baby is getting enough milk:
- They have 6-8 wet nappies in a 24-hour period. Breastfed babies may pass stools at every nappy change or only poo every few days.
- Your baby is gaining weight each week. In the first few weeks you can weigh them weekly or every second week.
- They regained their birth weight by two weeks old.
- They start to fill out their newborn baby clothes.
- Your baby starts to sleep for longer stretches at night from 4 weeks onwards.
- They are alert, engaged and interactive when awake.