Milk, whether breast milk or formula, is an infant’s primary source of all the nutrients he needs. This is especially true if the baby is not eating any solid foods yet. If you want your baby to be on track in terms of the important milestones and the normal growth and weight chart of a child, you have to make sure he is getting the right amount of milk every day.
Feeding Your Baby Properly
You can make sure your child is always getting the right amount of milk through these signs and ways:
1. Observing your baby’s breastfeeding routine
If you are breastfeeding your baby, you can be sure your baby is getting enough milk when you feed him at least 6 to 8 times a day. In addition, if your baby is swallowing while he is feeding and he seems to be latched on properly, you can be sure you are nursing your child properly.
2. You feel comfortable whenever you nurse your baby
You can also be sure that your child is getting enough milk every day if you do not feel any discomfort or pain whenever you breastfeed your baby. In addition, if you feel your breasts are empty and softer after nursing your child, it means you are feeding your baby sufficiently.
3. Your baby looks healthy
If your baby has a healthy color (not too pale or yellowish) and has firm skin which bounces right back when gently pinched, your child is getting enough milk on a regular basis. Babies who are not being properly fed have skin that appears more yellow, instead of less, a week after their birth. Their skin also remains wrinkled and they won’t develop rounded faces after three weeks.
4. Wet diapers
Another sign that your baby is getting enough milk is if he always has wet diapers. It is normal for your child to wet only a few diapers one to two days after birth. However, starting on the third day, he should be wetting at least 6 nappies daily. If you’re not changing your baby at least six times a day, it means your child is not getting enough milk and he may be dehydrated.
Whenever you change your baby’s diapers, pay attention to his urine as well. It should be pale and not dark brown in color. If his wet nappies are brownish in color from urine and not from poop, get in touch with your child’s pediatrician immediately.
5. Right frequency of daily bowel movements
During your child’s first two days, he will start defecating once or twice daily. His first stools, called meconium, will be dark or blackish in color, and sticky. His poop will become more greenish to yellowish in color on his third day.
On his fifth day and onwards, your baby’s stools will be yellow and loose with some small curds. His bowel movements will also increase, which can become at least 3 to 4 a day. If you are bottle-feeding your baby, he will usually need to poop at least once a day only.
6. Correct amount and frequency of formula feeding
If you are bottle-feeding your baby, you can make sure he is getting enough milk by following the recommended measurement. Experts say that on average, your baby should take in about 2½ ounces or 75 ml of formula a day for every pound or 453 grams of body weight.
However, your baby may want less than this amount during his first week, before he becomes accustomed to his pattern of feeding. As your child grows older, he will also regulate his intake from day to day to meet his own specific needs.
As such, instead of going by fixed amounts, let your baby tell you when he’s had enough milk. If he starts fidgeting or becomes easily distracted during a feeding, he’s probably full. But if he finishes the bottle and still continues to smack his lips, he may still be hungry.
7. Healthy weight gain
Lastly, your child’s weight will be regularly checked by his pediatrician. If he is constantly gaining weight, this is a good sign that your child is getting enough milk on a daily basis.
If you’re still not sure whether your child is getting the nourishment he needs from breast or bottle feeding, consult your baby’s pediatrician. Breast milk and formula milk are the most nutritious and complete meals babies can receive, even if they are already eating solid foods. It is therefore important that they always get the right amounts of milk every day.