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8 Signs Your Newborn Is Getting Enough Food

One of the most common concerns for new parents is ensuring their newborn receives enough nourishment. Babies can't communicate hunger or fullness with words, but they offer plenty of cues when they’re content and well-fed.   

Our Southfield Pediatric team provides outstanding pediatric services for infants, children, and teens in Bingham Farms and Novi, Michigan. We’re also committed to providing the support parents need to make informed decisions about their children’s health.

Consider these tips from our team to determine whether your newborn is getting enough food.

1. Monitor the frequency and duration of feeds

Newborns typically feed every 2-3 hours, but this frequency can increase during growth spurts. Keep track of your baby's feeding schedule to ensure they’re nursing or bottle-feeding regularly.

Babies tend to spend 10-20 minutes on each breast. Expect your breasts to feel softer and less full after nursing. Follow your pediatrician’s directions about how much to offer a formula-fed baby, but they should generally finish a bottle without appearing disinterested or frustrated.

2. Track their weight and developmental milestones

We evaluate your baby’s weight and growth pattern during checkups at Southfield Pediatrics, which occur frequently for newborns and infants. A steady increase in weight is a positive sign that your newborn is receiving the food they require.

We also check developmental milestones at these visits. If your newborn is meeting developmental milestones, such as gaining head control and tracking objects with their eyes, they’re likely getting the necessary nutrients.

3. Monitor the frequency of diaper changes

Expect at least 6-8 wet diapers a day. This typically indicates good hydration, another indicator that your newborn is doing well with their diet. Call the office if you notice a change in urine color or frequency. Dark urine or orange crystals in the diaper and fewer wet diapers could indicate dehydration.

4. Check their stool

Newborns typically have soft, yellowish stools. The frequency can change, but consistency is key. If your baby's stools appear normal and they’re passing gas, it typically signals they’re digesting their food properly.

5. Assess your newborn’s comfort level

A well-fed baby is content and appears relaxed after nursing or bottle-feeding. Fussiness or crying may indicate hunger, while a settled demeanor post-feeding is a positive sign.

6. Alertness

A well-nourished newborn is generally more alert and responsive when awake. They may exhibit curiosity and engage with their surroundings.

7. Check their breastfeeding latch or bottle-feeding techniques

For breastfeeding babies, a comfortable and effective latch is crucial. If your baby is latching well, they’re likely getting enough milk.

When bottle-feeding, your baby should suck rhythmically, and the nipple should be filled with milk. If your baby is actively sucking and swallowing, it's likely a sign of adequate intake.

8. Stay in touch

Be sure to attend your scheduled visits at Southfield Pediatrics; never hesitate to contact us sooner if you have questions or concerns about your newborn’s behavior, physical health, sleeping patterns, or feeding habits.

We’re here to help. Call the office today to schedule a visit or request an appointment online. 

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