Getting to Know Your Breastfeeding Baby

Breastfed babies need to eat at least 8 times in 24 hours. Many times they eat closer to 10-12 times in 24 hours.

Breastfed babies will wake up frequently to nurse, even during the night. This is good for your baby and good for increasing and maintaining your milk production.

breastfeeding mother with child

The first 24 hours after birth some babies are very sleepy. If it has been longer than 3 hours since you last fed your baby, place your baby skin-to-skin, and ask the nursing staff for help with latching. Take advantage of this sleepy time to get extra rest. Your baby may need to nurse more frequently in the day and night to come.

On the second day of life, some babies may want to nurse very frequently. This can be quite normal and is good stimulation for your breasts. If your nipples are becoming sore make sure to ask for help.

Feed your baby on demand, or whenever they show signs of hunger. There is no time limit for how long a healthy baby can nurse. It is typically 15-30 minutes per breast.

You will quickly learn cues that your baby is hungry. Try to feed your baby before they are crying, it’s a late sign of hunger and can make latching more difficult.

Is Your Baby Getting Enough Breast Milk?

In the Hospital

  • Your baby should have good breastfeeding at least 8-12 times in 24 hours
  • Your baby should seem sleepy and satisfied after a majority of feedings. It is common that some babies may have a period of day or night when they want to breastfeed more frequently.
  • Your baby should pee and poop every day and the poop should become more frequent and easier to wipe as the days go on.
  • • Your baby may lose up to 7% of their birth weight in the first few days after birth. They should gain this back by 10-14 days.

At Home

  • Most moms notice fullness in their breast and an increase in their milk volume by 3-4 days after birth.
  • By day 4, the baby should have at least 3 yellow stools in 24 hours and 6 wet diapers.

What goes in must come out!

  • Your baby should be back to birth weight by 2 weeks. On average, breastfed babies gain about 1 oz. per day, or 6 oz. per week.
  • Your baby should be sleepy and satisfied after a majority of feedings. It is common for babies to cluster feed, or eat more frequently, during a period each day. They may also go through growth spurts where they increase their feeding frequency for 3-4 days during the rapid growth.