Every baby is different, but the best indicators that your baby is receiving enough milk are weight gain and growth.
Weight gain should be steady. To monitor weight gain, your health professional may plot your baby’s growth on what is called a ‘growth chart’. It is important to realise that these charts show the average growth for all babies, and they simply show how your baby is progressing, by comparison, over time. 50 per cent of babies will be below the line, and are just smaller babies, while 50 per cent will be above the line and are larger babies! The main thing is that your baby continues to gain weight. Your baby should also have at least six wet nappies a day. If it has more or less, you may need to alter the amount that you feed.
You should find that by the time he or she is four months old, your baby is able to take larger amounts of milk at each feed, and you will start to decrease the number of feeding sessions.
- If you are breast feeding, reduce sessions from around 6-8 times a day, to 5-6.
- If you are feeding Infant Formula, baby may reduce feeds from five 200ml bottles to four 250ml bottles by six months.
With the introduction of solid food from four to six months, breast milk (or alternatively, Infant Formula) continues to be an important part of your infant’s diet.
Some babies will require extra fluids. Watch for any physical symptoms that indicate your baby is too hot (such as sweating). Over-heating and dehydration does not only occur in hot weather. In winter, the room may be very warm, or your baby may be wrapped in layers of blankets. Offer cooled boiled water – do not use bottled mineral waters or fruit juice. Juice is not recommended as it is too concentrated and acidic. (If given it should be diluted at 5ml fruit juice to 50ml water.)
Use our feeding guides and the feeding tables on infant formulas, as a guide only, as babies all have differing requirements. If your baby is crying or appears to be hungry, offer more formula. It may also be important to supplement your baby’s diet with cooled, boiled water in hot weather.
Your baby will experience rapid growth spurts at certain times, these will increase appetite and milk intake for a short period. Common times of growth are at three weeks, six weeks, and six months.
If you are concerned about weight gain, feeding quantities or anything at all, please consult your health professional.