How to Know If Your Newborn is Getting Enough

Newborn (0-4 months)
By Gerber

You're just getting to know your baby, and soon enough you’ll learn how to recognize their hunger and fullness feeding cues. In the meantime, while not all babies do the exact same thing, these tips are a good rule of thumb to help figure out when they're hungry. Knowing the cues of a hungry baby makes it easier to tell if yours is getting enough breastmilk or baby formula. Look for these signs to tell if your little one needs a little more.

How to know your baby is getting enough

  • Your baby cries or is fussy.
  • They put their fingers or fist in their mouth, or suck on their fingers.
  • Your little one opens their mouth wide when touched on his chin or lips and roots for a nipple.
  • They squirm or move their arms and legs.
  • Your baby moves, licks or smacks his lips or makes small sounds.

How do you know when they're full?

Knowing your baby's feeding patterns and behavior is a big help, but recognizing these actions can make it a little easier.

  • A hungry baby will initially be a little tense, then relax, as they become satisfied.
  • Let your baby comfortably feed until they stop. You can assume they're satisfied when she’s no longer interested and lets go of your breast or the bottle.
  • They're likely full if they start and stop feeding often, taking only a few sucks each time.
  • If they slow down their pace and fall asleep they're likely full.
  • Fidgeting or being easily distracted while feeding is another sign of fullness.

7 signs it was a good, productive feeding

Here are some other signs that your baby is getting enough to eat.

  • You breast or bottle feed your baby at least 8 times per 24 hours.
  • After the first week and once your milk is established if breastfeeding, your baby is gaining 1/2 oz- 1oz of weight a day.
  • Your breastfed baby has 6 or more wet diapers and at least 3 yellow, “seedy” stools per 24 hours.
  • Your breast fullness increases between feedings, and then softens after each feeding.
  • You’re able to hear your baby swallowing milk.
  • It's a comfortable feeding experience for you and your baby, and you aren't experiencing sore, cracked, red, pinched or painful nipples during feedings if you breastfeed
  • Your baby is back to their birth weight by 14 days old.

If you have any questions about your baby's growth or eating, be sure to ask your pediatrician.