When you first start breastfeeding, you may wonder if your baby is getting enough milk.

Don’t worry if your baby seems like they want to feed all the time. This is completely normal. Your baby is trying to get as much milk as possible by stimulating your milk supply.

Milk Production Signals

Each time your baby feeds they are letting your body know how much milk to produce. Feed your baby often to keep your milk flowing; every two hours or sooner, including at night in the first days.

Breastmilk is the perfect food for your baby and is digested quickly

In the first few days your baby will take very little breastmilk as their tummy is so small. Around days three to four, your breasts will fill with more milk, in response to your baby’s feeding patterns and growing tummy.

Keep your baby close to you so that you start to recognise the signals they make to tell you they’re hungry. Responding to your baby’s cues will help them stay calm and make them feel safe and loved.


What if my baby is sleepy?

Your baby might be sleepy in their first few weeks and may not show hunger cues every time they need to feed.

Offer a feed every time your baby shows one of the cues and at least every two to three hours during the day.

Every baby has their own feeding babies. You may find that overnight your baby feeds little and often, or may go a few hours in between.

If at four weeks your baby is gaining weight well and producing wet and dirty nappies as expected, it’s ok for your baby to sleep for longer. Lots of babies won’t sleep longer at night and that’s normal too.

If your baby is going longer than two to three hours between feeds during the day and four to five hours overnight, it can be a good idea to try to wake them. A nappy change and picking up your baby can encourage them to wake. A dummy can make your baby sleep longer than they should, which could affect how often they feed and how much milk they are taking.

Here are some reassuring signs you can look out for to check that your baby is feeding well

The contents of your baby’s nappy is a great way to check that breastfeeding is going well.

If your baby is pooing and weeing, these are great signs they are getting all the milk they need. Every baby’s stool patterns are different. You’ll learn to recognise your baby’s as time goes on. It’s normal for breastfed babies to pass loose stools.

Your baby’s first poo is called meconium and will be a greenish black and sticky texture.

After a few days this will change to a yellow or mustard colour as your milk changes from colostrum to breastmilk.

How often should your baby poo?
  • In the first 48 hours: one to two wet nappies and at least one meconium per day
  • Day three to four: three or more wet nappies, two or more stools changing to a lighter, runnier, brown or greenish colour per day
  • From day four and for first few weeks: your baby may pass two yellow stools every day.  These should be at least the size of a £2 coin
  • From day seven: six or more wet nappies per day.

Breastfeeding is a skill that you and your baby will learn together.

If you have any questions about breastfeeding, reach out to Beside You, your midwife, health visitor or breastfeeding supporter

Here is a checklist to see how you and your baby are getting on with feeding:
  • Breastfeeding should not hurt. It may be uncomfortable for the first few days as your body adjusts, but it shouldn’t hurt and your nipples shouldn’t be damaged or sore
  • Eight or more feeds in 24 hours after the first day
  • Your baby feeds between five and 40 minutes at each feed
  • Your baby has a normal skin colour 
  • Your baby is generally calm and relaxed when feeding and is content after most feeds
  • Your baby has regular wet and dirty nappies
  • It’s normal for your baby to lose some weight in the first few days after birth
  • Your baby should regain their birthweight by around two weeks
  • You can hear you baby swallowing during the feed from the time they are around three to four-days-old.
Breastfeeding peer supporter guiding a mother to breastfeed

Find your local support

If there is anything not quite right or you are worried at all, please do reach out for your local support.