Having a baby is a joyous, wonderful, frightening experience. There are feelings of great anticipation about the future, but also numerous concerns. One of the most common is a mother’s concern that her baby is not getting as much nourishment as she/he needs. An important question almost every mother asks is, “How can I know when my baby has had enough nourishment?”
Parents soon learn that their little one has a distinct personality with her/his own likes and dislikes and her/his own preferences. Here are tips to help mothers and fathers know when their baby has had enough to eat.
1. If you are breastfeeding, one sign that your baby is getting enough breast milk is the infant’s sleeping for a couple of hours right after being fed.
2. When the baby goes into a suck and then pause pattern, it is an indication that her/his hunger has been satisfied.
3. Don’t depend on the clock to tell you your baby has had enough. Feeding time may require anywhere from ten minutes to an hour or longer.
4. Mothers can know that if their breasts felt full before feeding and then soft afterward, this is an indication that their baby had a good meal.
5. When there is a baby in the house, poop becomes a subject of interest. It is a good indicator that your little one, with the exception of newborns, is getting sufficient nourishment. Yellowish, grainy poop three times a day tells you all is probably well nutrition-wise.
When baby begins to eat solid food, the situation changes somewhat. How can a parent know how much food is enough? Many parents use a printed set of guidelines. There is a feeding table that says at a certain age a baby can be expected to eat a certain number teaspoons/tablespoons of food. Many infants do not conform to this chart. Some have larger appetites and eat considerably more than average. Other babies simply do not eat as much as the chart indicates they will. Here are some tips to help parents through this phase of their baby’s development.
1. Remember that each baby is an individual, and the best guidelines are set by you infant.
2. There are numerous things that will influence your baby’s appetite and how much she/he is eating. Appetite is influenced by:
• Temperature and humidity.
• Amount of physical activity.