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EARLY LIFE NUTRITION

Breastfeeding Advice

How do I know if my baby is getting enough breast milk?

As you can’t measure how much breast milk your baby is taking, it’s natural to wonder whether they’re getting enough to meet their needs. Over time, you’ll start to understand how your baby likes to feed. Until then you can look for these common signs which show that your baby is latching on well, which will mean they are likely to be feeding well too:

  • Do they take a large mouthful of breast?
  • Is their chin firmly touching your breast?
  • Do their cheeks stay rounded during sucking?
  • Do your nipples and breasts not feel uncomfortable?
  • Do they come off the breast themselves when they’ve had enough?

How long should a feed last, and is your baby latching on properly?

Watch our short breastfeeding guide to find out.

Expressing breast milk enables your baby to get the nutrition they need when you can’t be there to feed them. Find out how it is done and how to store breast milk correctly.

Babies feed every two-three hours, day and night

Even if your baby is doing all of these things, you may still have concerns about the amount of milk they’re getting. There are no strict rules as to the number feeds a breastfed baby should have, and as your baby grows their needs will change, but as a guide they’ll feed every two-three hours, including day and night feeds. Here are a few ways to tell if your baby is getting enough food:

  • They produce at least six wet nappies every 24 hours, from day five onwards
  • From day three-five onwards they start to gain weight. Most babies regain their birth weight within the first two weeks
  • From day four and for the first few weeks, their stools are yellow and quite runny. They should pass at least two a day

Remember, once your baby is full they will take themselves off the breast. Some babies will naturally take a break during a feed, so it’s always a good idea to wait a while to see if they’re just resting or if they’re actually full. 

Night feeds 

Newborn babies have tiny stomachs and can only take a small amount of milk at a time. They need to feed at regular intervals, throughout the day and night, to ensure their nutritional requirements are met. Some mums find that breastfed babies digest their milk quicker and wake up more in the night.

Do you know the ‘cradle’ from the ‘rugby ball’?

Learn how to carry out the 3 main breastfeeding positions in our short video.

Trapped wind after a feed can be uncomfortable for your baby.

Watch our short video to see the best positions for winding your baby.