How Do I Know If My Little One Is Getting Enough Breast Milk

It's no lie it's difficult to figure out if your little one is getting the right amount of breast milk since you’re typically unable to see what’s really goin’ on down there. Read ahead to find out how much milk your little one actually needs, how often you should be nursing, and common feeding cues to watch out for.

How Much Should My Newborn be Eating

The exact amount of breast milk your little one needs will depend on their age, weight, gender, and how quickly they grow. Generally speaking, a little one who is less than one-month-old should consume around two to three of breast milk or formula per feeding session; this amount increases gradually depending on the size and growth of your child as time goes on.

When it comes to newborns, it’s important to ensure they're getting enough nutrients to achieve growth benchmarks. Breastfed children generally can’t be overfed since they can regulate their food intake; they will turn away from the breast or bottle if they’re full. 


How Often Should I Breastfeed

It’s important to pay attention to the number of times your newborn is feeding in a day to determine if they’re getting enough nutrition from their feedings. Newborn babies typically feed 8-12 times every 24 hours — including day and night — which totals up to one to two hours total of breastfeeding daily in the first few weeks. They come outta there hungry, Mom! 

It’s important for parents to pay attention not just to how often their newborn feeds, but also to how long each feeding lasts. The average length for one breastfeeding session ranges between 10-20 minutes; however, this can vary depending on the age and needs of your child. Everyone's a bit different.

What Are Some of Feeding Cues of Newborns

Feeding cues are behaviors that indicate when a little one is hungry. By recognizing these signs, parents can know when it's time to feed their children and ensure that they're getting the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.

The first cue parents should look out for is rooting, which typically occurs right before the child begins nursing. Rooting involves the little one moving its head from side to side while turning its mouth toward an object or person in search of food. Children may also make sucking motions with their mouths or tongue as if they are ready to eat immediately.

Another common feeding cue is fussiness or crying. While this behavior might not always signal hunger, it could mean that they’re not satisfied with what they've eaten and "one more bite." If a parent notices their little one becoming fussy after eating, giving them additional milk may help them feel better and more content afterward.

Little ones may also become very alert and attentive when they're hungry. This includes widening eyes, ears perking up, and increased movements such as kicking and flailing limbs. Parents should pay attention to any changes in behavior that signal readiness for food, such as becoming suddenly quiet or still due to anticipation of eating soon.


How Do I Know My Child is Eating Enough

Wet diapers are one of the most common cues as to whether their little one is eating enough. Parents should provide diaper changes every two to three hours; if the diaper is saturated at least three to four times a day, then your little one is on track.

Another sign of adequate milk intake is weight gain. Little ones typically gain about one ounce per day. If your child doesn’t seem to be gaining weight or appears to have slowed their growth rate, then that could also be a sign that they need to be eating more. 

Parents can additionally gauge how much milk their little one is getting while feeding by monitoring their feeding duration. Generally speaking, little ones should nurse for around 15 minutes on each side during feedings — although this can vary depending on the age of the child and other factors. 

Overall, it's important for parents to pay attention to all of these signs to ensure that their newborns are getting enough nutrition from breastfeeding without being overfed.

However you feed your little one is best: whether that's pumping, breastfeeding, or formula-feeding. Contact us with any questions at Moms help each other, it's what we do.

Lactation Love,



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