It is said that what goes in must come out. And if your baby is nursing efficient, the reverse is true as well. The following guidelines are helpful measure to make sure your baby is taking in what he needs.
- On the first day of life, your baby’s stomach is the size of a large marble, which means he can take in a total of 20-40 mL (or .67-1.3 oz) a day. This is equal to 5-10 mL per feeding, which is a tiny amount.
- By the end of week one, his stomach stretches to the size of a ping pong ball, allowing for a total of 300-360 mL (or 10-12 oz) of milk a day, or an average of 30-45 mL per feeding.
- By weeks 2-3, your baby’s stomach can hold 60-90 ml (2-3 oz) at each feeding with a total of 600-750 ml (20-25oz) per day.
- By week four, your baby should take in 90-120 ml (3-4 oz) per feeding and 750-1050 ml per day (25-35 oz). This volume remains constant throughout the duration of breastfeeding.
- From one to six months, your baby still only needs about 32 oz a day, but he will nurse more efficiently. This is because his stomach grows, and he becomes more adept at transferring milk. This means more milk per feeding and shorter feeding times for both of you.
- Birth to 4 day – 7-10% loss of birth weight
- 4 days to 4 months – gain of 2 lbs per month (7-8 oz/200-225g per week)
- 4 -6 months – gain of 1 lb per month (4-5oz/113-142 g per week)
- 6-12 months – gain of ¾ lb per month (3-4 oz/85-113 g per week)
During the first 24 hours, your baby should produce one wet diaper and one black, tarry stool. The number of stools and wet diapers increases each day so that by day 4, your baby should make 4 stools and 4 wet diapers a day. Keep in mind, however, that newer, very absorbent diapers can hold more urine than is apparent. Watch for orange rate crystals, which can appear if your baby is dehydrated. By day 5, your baby’s stool should turn yellow and seedy. By the end of the first week, your baby should make 6-7 wet diapers and at least 4 stools a day. This should continue going forward.