Is Baby Getting Enough Milk?

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

~~~ BIRTH to 6 WEEKS ~~~
If baby is gaining well on mom’s milk alone, then baby is getting enough. A 5-7% weight loss during the first 3-4 days after birth is normal. Baby should regain birth weight by 10-14 days. By day 5, average weight gain is 2/3-1 oz per day (5-7 oz/week). If these goals are not met, call your lactation consultant. More on weight gain.
WET DIAPERS: 6+ wet diapers per day (by day 4).
Expect one wet diaper on day one, increasing to 6+ by day 4. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper (if baby wets more often, then the amount of urine per diaper may be less). Urine should be pale and mild smelling.
DIRTY DIAPERS: 3 – 4+ dirty diapers per day (by day 4).
Stools should be yellow (no meconium) by day 5 and the size of a US quarter (2.5 cm) or larger. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is usually yellow and is loose (soft to watery, may be seedy or curdy). More on infant stooling.
OTHER POSITIVE SIGNS: After a feeding, mom’s breast feels softer and baby seems reasonably content. Baby is alert, active and meeting developmental milestones.

Want to print the above information? Go to PDF Quick Reference Card or Professional Handouts


Additional Resources

Is baby getting enough milk? | Does your breastfed baby need formula supplements?

Is baby getting enough milk?


Is my baby getting enough milk? by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC

Increasing low milk supply

Does your breastfed baby need formula supplements?

Hospital Guidelines for the Use of Supplementary Feedings in the Healthy Term Breastfed Neonate, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Clinical Protocol Number 3

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Supplementing the Breastfeeding Baby by Kathleen G. Auerbach, PhD, IBCLC

Supplementing The Breastfed Baby by Paula Yount

Does This Mother Really Have to Wean? Questions Leaders Can Ask by Laure Marchand-Lucas (Leaven, Vol. 33 No. 5, October-November 1997, pp. 117-18) has information on the acceptable medical reasons for supplementation under the WHO/UNICEF Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Initiative.

Powers NG, Slusser W. Breastfeeding Update 2 : Clinical Lactation Management. Pediatrics in Review 1997 May;18(5):147-161.


Clinical Guidelines for the Establishment of Exclusive Breastfeeding (International Lactation Consultant Association, 2005)

Guidelines for Hospital Discharge of the Breastfeeding Term Newborn and Mother, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Clinical Protocol Number 2 (2007 Revision)


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