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Feeding bottle nursing room signWhen I was a new mom, my first worry was about whether or not the baby is getting enough milk. I was looking for some guidelines and found them. Some came from books, some from lactation consultants, some from other moms – but all of them worked for us and you too may find them useful.

If the baby is hungry, feed him.
Feeding on demand is very popular. You don’t have to worry about your baby over-eating because babies, unlike adults, can’t eat too much because they like the taste. They will feed until they are not hungry, and then often fall asleep.

Look at the baby, not at the clock.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve just fed the baby – if he’s hungry, give him more. Or if it’s time for a feed and the baby is sleeping – don’t wake him up. He will wake up when he’s hungry.

And now to some numbers. If you’re still not satisfied with the first two guidelines and need more information, a rule of thumb says that in 24 hours a baby should have 2.5 ounces of milk or formula per pound of body weight. For those who aren’t comfortable with ounces and pounds, translation: it is 150 ml per 1kg of body weight a day.

Let’s take a 5kg baby for example, according to this guideline a mom should give him 750ml of breast milk/formula a day. If the baby feeds 6 times a day, that would mean 125ml every feed.

A question that any new mom asks is how do I know when the baby is getting enough? A number of things can help to answer that:

1. Count the number of wet and dirty diapers that your baby produces and make sure it’s at least 6 a day.
2. Look at the baby’s mouth and make sure it’s not dry.
3. Watch the baby’s weight and make sure he’s growing at adequate rate – your nurse or doctor can help you with that.

A lot of the new moms that breastfeed worry about the quality of their milk. I remember how my mother and mother in law used to drive me absolutely nuts, asking my husband: β€œIs her milk high in fat? It is satisfying the baby?” Luckily my boy was in 95th percentile weight-wise so that got them off my back, but otherwise they just wouldn’t leave me and my milk alone.

So if you’re worried about the amount of fat in your milk, here’s a little test you can do: pump a little bit of milk (say 2 ounces) and leave it in the bottle for a couple of hours. The fat will get separated from the rest of the liquid and you will be actually able to see it.

What else would you like to know about the feeding issues? What’s on your mind? Leave a comment, let me know.