Whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed the goal is the same — making sure that your baby is eating enough to grow and thrive. But how would you know when you should be concerned? Fortunately, there are some red flags that your baby isn’t eating enough that can help you identify a problem early and avoid long-term complications.
“Signs that babies are not getting enough food depends on their age and overall health status,” Michelle Haas, pediatrician, tells Romper.
During your baby’s first week, there are certain markers that pediatricians look for concerning growth. “We expect one wet diaper per day of life. For example, a 2-day-old should have at least two wet diapers. By a week of age, six wet diapers per day is the average,” says Sara Huberman Carbone, MD. Parents should also keep an eye on the amount of stool. Stool follows a similar pattern to urine, with increasing frequency over the first week of life. By one week of age, a newborn typically has three to four stools per day.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also suggested that while it's normal for babies to lose up to 7% of their birth weight in their first couple of days of life, they usually regain their birth weight within their first week. After that, they should gain 4 to 7 ounces per week. If not, it can be a sign of a problem.
But some other red flags that your baby isn't eating enough are more subtle and might be a little harder to measure, especially for breastfeeding moms who don’t pump. Here are some signs to keep an eye on.
If any of these signs are your concern, contact your pediatrician. This will help you get the answers you need so your family can make any necessary adjustments to get your baby’s growth back on track.