There are easy ways to tell if your baby is getting enough human milk. Make sure you are breast or chestfeeding 10 or more times every 24 hours. Use the tips below to figure out if your newborn is getting enough human milk during their first few weeks. If you think your baby is not getting enough, or you are not sure, ask your baby’s doctor or a lactation consultant for help. You are not alone in this!

Tip #1: Check the diaper

Your baby’s diapers in their first week will help you tell if they are getting enough milk. In general, the diapers should follow the number and color pattern below. If you do not feel like this pattern is being met, contact your baby’s doctor.

Chart with diaper information. Read extended text for content.  Content available in extended text description linked below.

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Welcome to parenthood: It is full of poop and full of love.

Tip #2: Watch and listen

Newborns who are getting enough human milk should appear happy and peaceful for 1-3 hours after feeding. They may even fall asleep, which is even better (because you can rest, too!). During the first month after birth, your newborn will need to be fed 10 or more times within 24 hours. Watch for your baby’s hunger cues. Your newborn can sleep too much. Talk to your doctor about how long you should let your baby sleep.

As your baby is feeding, look and listen for swallowing. This may take a few minutes to begin, as your milk lets down from your milk ducts and flows through to your nipple.

Watch your baby for signs that they may be hungry or fullMany times, your baby will give you more than one cue at a time.

Your baby will become more upset and cry if their first cues go unnoticed. It is best to notice the early signs of hunger above before they start to feel upset and need to be calmed down.

Did You Know?

Babies cry for many reasons. Your baby’s cry does not always mean they need to be fed. Many parents worry that their babies are not getting enough milk because babies often cry and wake more than expected. It is possible that your baby needs their diaper changed or that they are too warm or cold. Or, they may just want to be near you! Do not assume that your baby’s cries mean they are not getting enough milk. It is likely your baby is getting exactly as much as they need if they are: 

* Making enough wet and dirty diapers.
* Not showing hunger cues between feedings.
* Gaining weight healthily (your baby’s doctor can help you know this).

Tip #3: When in doubt, ask for help  

Many parents worry and want to make sure their babies are getting enough to eat. You can handle this! And if you have any doubts, talk to your baby’s doctor or a lactation consultant. Asking for help is the right thing to do.

If you are formula feeding you can learn how to tell if your baby is getting enough formula here.

Breast or chestfeeding are both ways to describe a parent feeding a baby human milk from their breast or chest.

This is a general estimate. If your baby is going through a growth spurt, it is likely they will eat even more often for a few days. Just because your baby loves to breast or chestfeed, and does so OFTEN, does not mean you are not making enough milk!

If your baby is hungry, they may:

- Move their head, looking for something to suck on

- Pull their hands and knees upward toward their face

- Make sucking noises and try to suck on anything they can find

If your baby is full after breastfeeding for a few minutes, they may:

Relax their muscles

Slow down in their eating

Let their hands fall away from their face

Sometimes fall asleep