Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?

Every mother wonders if her breastfed baby is getting enough milk. There are a few easy ways to know.


It is normal for babies to lose weight the first few days of life. He can lose up to 7% of his birth weight with out causing concern. Once your milk changes from colostrum to mature milk, your baby should begin gaining about an once (30 grams) a day for the first 3 months and a little more than half of that from 4 until 6 months. Breastfed babies often regain their birth weight by the end of the first week though doctors are usually satisfied if babies regain their birth weight by 2 weeks. Weight checks should be performed on the same digital baby scale each time as there are discrepancies between scales. The baby should be completely naked when weighed - no diaper.

Wet Diapers

Since most of us do not weigh our babies every day, counting diapers in another excellent way to know that baby is eating enough.  Over the first week, baby will gradually eat more and make more. A wet diaper is the same weight as 2 to 3 Tbs. of water. Your baby should make one wet diaper on his first day, two on his second, three on his third and so on until his fifth day. From then on he should have 5 wet diapers a day. Around a month old, your baby may make less wet diapers but they will be heavier than her earlier diapers.

Dirty Diapers

Your baby's poops change over the first week. The first poop is a tarry substance called meconium. Your baby will clear this from his body in the first two days. By day 3 his poops should change from black to green which changes to a mustardy color by day five. By then he should be having at least 3 big stools a day - at least the size of an American or Canadian quarter. Most often a baby who is not gaining well will not have sufficient dirty diapers and those that are gaining well will. On occasion a well gaining baby will have less dirty diapers than expected or a baby who makes lots of dirty diapers is not gaining well. Both babies should be checked by their doctor. Stooling may slow down significantly around 4 to 6 weeks of age. If, at this point your baby stools only every few days but a huge amount at a time, he is most likely doing OK. You can have him weighed to be sure.

If your baby is not eating enough a lactation consultant can help you determine what the problem is and how to fix it.