Breastmilk - Making Sure Baby Is Getting Enough

Breastmilk satisfies both hunger and thirst, so extra water is usually not needed. A baby fed at the breast controls the quantity of milk he or she drinks, usually drawing only as much as is needed and desired. As a result, overfeeding or underfeeding are unlikely to occur. Nonetheless, it's not uncommon for a breastfeeding mother to worry about whether her baby is getting enough milk.

One simple way of answering this question is to count the number of wet diapers. Usually 6 to 8 wet diapers a day is a sign that your baby is drinking enough. The best way to be sure that your baby is getting enough milk is by the following the weight gain; on average, during the first 3 months of life babies gain about 2 lbs, or 1 kilogram, per month. This equals about one ounce per day. Between the third and sixth months, babies gain about half that amount during the first 3 months or about half an ounce a day. In general, babies weigh double their birth weight by about 4 months.

By 6 months of age, though breastmilk is still an excellent source of nutrition for your baby - it no longer provides the entire range of nutrients needed for continued growth. Between the fourth and the sixth month, your baby's diet should begin to include solid foods that provide the extra calories and nutrients (especially iron) which breastmilk alone cannot. When taken in combination with solid foods, breastmilk remains an excellent source of nutrition for babies for as long as breastfeeding continues.