How To Tell If Your Baby Is Getting Enough To Eat

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It’s impossible to determine if your newborn baby is getting enough to eat. They can’t speak to you, but your baby will usually let you know if they’re hungry. They’ll give you a variety of cues to help you know when they’re ready to eat. Some newborns may be more restless than others, and you may wonder why your child is always hungry. So, it’s challenging for a mother to understand what her baby wants or how much it wants.

So, with hundreds of questions in your mind about the baby’s food intake, this post will shed some light to get you started with proper nutrition and precautions for your baby. Read along and make notes if you wish to.

Signs That Your Baby Is Fed Well

1. Your Baby Looks Happy and Energetic

Babies who are adequately fed will be active and energetic. Despite babies typically sleeping 16 to 18 hours per day, extreme drowsiness could signify your baby is malnourished. After breastfeeding, a well-fed baby will appear content and pleased (and may even smile as he leaves the nipple!). After a meal, if your baby is irritated and cranky, he probably still needs to eat.

2. Your Newborn Poops Consistently and Quickly

A stool is a blot with one or more tablespoons in volume or approximately equivalent to your baby’s first tooth. You can be confident that your baby is breastfeeding well if it has 3 or more bowel movements(poops) per day after day 1, rising to 4 or more stools per day after day five.

3. Your Baby Gains Body Weight

In most cases, newborns lose 5-7 % of their birth weight in the initial 5 days. So if your newborn baby drops more than 7% of its body weight, it can mean that it is not eating enough. Usually, healthy newborn babies full term (8-9 months pregnancy) on day 10 will have gained any weight they had lost and will have reached (or potentially even surpassed) their birth weight. If not, consult your baby’s doctor about potential remedies, such as assisting you in increasing your milk supply and assisting your baby in developing a better grip.

4. Your Infant’s Urine Is Clear or Light Yellow.

By the fifth day, your newborn should have 6 or more soiled diapers daily and have clean or pale yellow pee. Pale urine indicates that your newborn is adequately hydrated. On the other hand, your little one may not be drinking enough if their urine is dark.

5. Your Newborn Breastfeeds Eight or More Times Per Day

In a 24-h cycle, newborns typically nurse 8 to 12 times. Although every baby is unique, you should ensure yours is fed at least eight times daily. Infants may eat at different times.

Signs That Might Indicate They Are Hungry

Your baby will be able to communicate with you clearly through sounds and actions even before they learn to speak. Here are some indicators that your baby will show if they are hungry:

  • They are crying continuously.
  • Sucking onto their fingers.
  • Tightly holding their hands.
  • Being more irritated and anxious.

Signs That Might Indicate They Are Full

A few indicators that your baby is full are as follows:

  • First, they withdraw from you or their bottles.
  • Second, they doze off while being breastfed.
  • Third, they relax their hands or fingers quickly.
  • Fourth, they show no interest while breastfeeding.
  • Finally, they nod their head or shut their mouth.

Being able to read your newborn’s indications is extremely helpful. They’ll be useful in identifying when your baby is getting hungry or even when they’ve had enough. Getting on top of things and feeling secure that your baby is getting the breast milk they require may take a bit of time, but don’t worry, you’ll get there. These indicators can also assist you in ensuring that your newborn isn’t overfed. Additionally, your pediatrician will inform you at routine visits if your child’s weight and height are progressing as expected.

Signs That Might Indicate You Are Overfeeding Your Baby

It’s not very common but keeps an eye out for these typical indications that a baby has been overfed:

  • bloating or burping
  • often spitting up
  • After-meal vomiting
  • choking or gag reflex

You don’t need to freak out when your little one displays these symptoms because many babies frequently exhibit similar behaviors. For example, your infant may repeatedly spit up without even being overfed, particularly in the first few years of its life (keep your burp cloth close at hand!).

First-time parenthood is complicated and frequently anxiety-provoking, but knowing your baby’s hunger and fullness signals can help calm any anxieties about breastfeeding your little one. Pay close attention to your child’s actions and gestures, and feeding time will become a less stressful and more enjoyable experience for you.

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Kezia John

Kezia holds a deep interest in writing about women adapting to motherhood and childcare. She writes on several topics that help women navigate the joys and responsibilities of being a new mom and celebrate every stage of their baby's development. When she is not writing for MomJunction, she sings in a classical Western choir and reads endlessly.