When I brought my first baby boy home, I was really nervous. What if I didn't know what to do? What if he didn't eat enough? What if I didn't nurse him right? Did I need back up formula just in case? I was a typical first time mom, I'm sure. And those first few weeks were a bit stressful for me.
I spent a lot of time reading articles online and figuring out what was normal for a newborn to eat. And yep, I should have done that before baby came. I could have saved myself a lot of anxiety. Live and learn though, right? I was a pro by the time baby number two came along. So that's a plus.
Through all of my reading and research I discovered that following my instincts was really important, but three specific things I learned saved my sanity more than anything else. So I thought I'd share them here.
1. Your newborn baby's stomach really small. It is the size of the top of your thumb from the knuckle up. Basically the size of a large grape. That is really small! So my fear that baby wasn't eating enough when he just had an ounce or two of milk, was not necessary. That's all his little tummy could hold at one time!
2. The best way to measure breastfeeding input is output. Basically, what goes in must come out. So keeping an eye on your baby's pee diapers will help you know if they are eating enough! An infant (after week one) should have 5-6 good and wet diapers in 24 hours and 2-4 poop diapers. (The reverse concern is something I heard from my formula feeding friends. They would worry that baby was eating too much.)
3. Watch your baby. Are they happy and gaining weight? If yes, then they are eating enough.
Did you worry that your baby wasn't eating enough or too much? What advice would you give to a new mom about feeding her baby?
Image © iStockphoto.com/ Rhienna Cutler