Newborn Stomach Size And Daily Diaper Counts: What To Expect In The First 12 Months

A baby’s first year of life is amazing in terms of growth—and a growing appetite! Knowing what to expect helps mother relax more and enjoy breastfeeding.

When you are starting your breastfeeding journey it may be difficult to imagine what it will be like tomorrow let alone next week or next month! Babies change so quickly and so do their needs and schedules. Knowing what to expect will help you navigate this journey so you are not surprised!

Baby’s Stomach Size in First 10 Days

Many moms fear they are not producing enough milk when their baby is first born, and that can be scary! But knowing that a newborn baby’s stomach is the size of a shooter marble can hopefully alleviate some of  those fears.  Imagine how small a shooter marble is! Your body is all set to provide that nourishment in the form of colostrum. By day 3 your baby’s stomach is the size of a ping pong ball. Compared to a shooter marble, bigger, but still something you and your body can handle! By day 10 your baby’s stomach is the size an extra large chicken egg. Relax and enjoy this time, trusting that your body knows what to do! See below for a baby stomach size chart:

 

Birth to Day 4, everything is new and you are both learning! 

The Facts

  • A newborn’s stomach is as small as a shooter marble. At birth, you have just the right amount of milk to fill it.
  • Your breasts are never empty.
  • When breastfeeding well, newborns usually do better without water or formula.
  • Lots of breastfeeding brings in more milk faster.
  • Most mothers start to make much more milk starting on day 3 or 4.
  • Lots of breastfeeding helps prevent engorged breasts.
  • Most mothers can make enough milk for twins, triplets, and more.
  • Keep your baby on your body skin to skin for easier feedings and increased milk production.

What to Expect

  • Lots of breastfeeding.
  • Your nipple may feel tender for the first minute or two of nursing then feel better.
  • If your baby fusses, offer each breast more than once.
  • Expect 1-2 wet diapers each day and sticky, black stools through day 2 turning to a less sticky and brown stool.
  • Many newborns lose up to 10% of birth weight by Day 4.
  • There may be no pattern or schedule to feedings, and babies generally feed more often during the moon hours versus the sun hours. This is normal.

Things to Learn
Breastfeeding laying down

  • Try breastfeeding lying down with baby belly down on your body, so you can breastfeed and rest.
  • For greater comfort, help your baby latch deeply onto your breast. If it hurts, ask for help.
  • Make sure your baby feeds at least 8 times a day. Feedings may be bunched together. If needed, guide baby to breast while drowsy and in a light sleep.
  • Ask where you can get breastfeeding help if needed.

 

Day 4 to 6 weeks is all about establishing your milk production!

The Facts

  • A baby’s stomach stretches to the size of a chicken egg by Day 10.
  • Most babies feed 8-12 times a day but not at set times. They may bunch feedings close together for part of the day or night.
  • Babies may take one breast at a feeding, or they may need to feed from both breasts. Let your baby decide.
  • More breastfeeding makes more milk.
  • Most mothers start to make much more milk starting on day 3 or 4.
  • Drained breasts make milk faster. Full breasts make milk slower.
  • Breastfeed only. Avoid pacifiers until your baby is latching and breastfeeding well. If your baby is breastfeeding well, no additional liquids are needed unless recommended by your healthcare provider.

What to Expect

  • If your breasts feel very full, breastfeed more or express milk. This will make you feel better, not worse.
  • Baby’s stool to start turning from brown to yellow around day 3 or 4. Expect 3-4 or more yellow, runny, seedy looking stools every day. However, every baby’s bowel pattern is different.
  • Expect 5-6 or more wet diapers a day by Day 5.
  • Your baby should be back to birth weight by 2 weeks.
  • Your baby may want to feed again soon after breastfeeding. This is normal now. Your breasts still have milk.
  • She wakes a lot at night. (Babies need to do this to get enough milk.)
  • Some babies sleep for one 4-5 hour stretch each day. It may not be at night.

Things to Learn

  • Breastfeed whenever your baby wants to. You’ll know it’s time when your baby turns her head from side to side with an open mouth or when she puts her hand to her mouth.
  • Don’t wait until your baby fusses or cries. When upset, it’s harder to feed well.
  • Use breastfeeding positions that feel good for you and your baby.
  • If breastfeeding hurts, get help. A small change in how your baby takes the breast may be all you need to feel better.
  • Find a mothers group near you. Spend time with other breastfeeding mothers.

Free Breast Pump

6 Weeks to 6 Months, reaching your groove

The Facts

  • Your baby’s stomach size is larger and holds more milk. She may feed less often.
  • Most mothers no longer feel full, even with lots of milk.
  • Babies need about as much milk per day at 6 weeks as 6 months.
  • Now breastfeeding starts to take less time than bottle-feeding.
  • When breastfeeding well, a baby does best on mother’s milk alone until about 6 months.

What to Expect

  • Older babies are faster feeders. The baby who used to feed 40 minutes may now be done in 10-15 minutes.
  • Some babies this age have fewer stools but gain weight just fine.
  • Older babies may pull off the breast, distracted or curious by sights and sounds.

Things to Learn

  • Trust your baby to know the right time to feed.
  • Practice breastfeeding when away from home until you feel at ease. Even when breastfeeding is going well, you may experience some of the following:
    • Your baby has fussy times. (Most babies do, and it is not always about food!)
    • She wants to feed again soon after breastfeeding. (Most babies do.)
    • She wants to feed more often. (This adjusts your milk production.)
    • Your breasts no longer feel full. (Usually at around 6 weeks.)
    • She wants to feed less often or for a shorter time. (Babies get faster with practice.)
    • She may wake up less often at night the older she gets, but if she continues to wake up that is normal.

To learn more about breast pumping and breastfeeding, check out these articles:

Baby’s Age
Average Weight Gain Per Week
Average Weight Gain Per Month
Birth to Day 4
<7-10%
n/a
Day 4 to 4 months
+ 7-8 oz. (200-222g)
1.75-2.0 lbs. (0.79-.88kg)
4-6 months
+ 4-5oz. (100-122 g)
1-1.25 lbs. (0.4-0.45 kg)
6-12 months
+ 2-3 oz. (58-85 g)
0.5-0.75 lb. (0.23-0.34 kg)

 

 

Reducing Breastfeeding Pain Starts With a Deep Latch

Relieve Breastfeeding Pain: Solutions for the Moms Top Breastfeeding Struggles

Tender and sore nipples are normal during the first week or two of your breastfeeding journey. But pain, cracks, blisters, and bleeding are not. Your comfort depends on where your nipple lands in your baby’s mouth. And this depends on how your baby takes the breast, or latches on.

 

To understand this better, use your tongue to feel the roof of your mouth. Behind your teeth are ridges. Behind the ridges the roof feels hard. When your nipple is pressed against this hard area in your baby’s mouth, it can hurt.

But farther back in your mouth the roof turns from hard to soft. Near this is the area some call the comfort zone. Once your nipple reaches your baby’s comfort zone, breastfeeding feels good. There is no undue friction or pressure that would cause sore nipples during breastfeeding.

To make this happen, let gravity help. Lean back with good neck, shoulder, and back support and your hips forward. Lay your baby tummy down between your exposed breasts. When your calm, hungry baby feels your body against her chin, torso, legs, and feet, this triggers her inborn feeding reflexes. When her chin touches your body, her mouth opens and she begins to search for the breast. In these laid-back positions, gravity helps the nipple reach the comfort zone.

In other positions, you need to work harder to help your baby take the breast deeply.

  • With your baby’s body pressed firmly against you and her nose in line with your nipple, let her head tilt back a bit (avoid pushing on the back of her head).
  • Allow her chin to touch the breast then move away.
  • Repeat until her mouth opens really wide, as wide as a yawn.
  • As she moves onto the breast chin first, gently press between your baby’s shoulders from behind for a deeper latch.

That last gentle push helps the nipple reach the right spot. Breastfeeding tends to feel better when your baby latches on asymmetrically, so that more of the areola (the dark part around your nipple) under the nipple is in her mouth than on top of the nipple.

Signs of a Deep Latch

  • You feel a tugging but no pain throughout the breastfeeding session. (In the first week or so you may feel some pain in the first minute or two of sucking that eases quickly)
  • You hear your baby swallowing.
  • Her lower lip is rolled out.
  • You see more of the dark area around the nipple above your baby’s upper lip than below.
  • Your baby breastfeeds with a wide-open (not a narrow) mouth.

If breastfeeding hurts, seek help right away from a board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). The sooner you get help, the better.

Unicef WHO, breastfeeding promotion and support in a  bay friendly hospital, training course

Solutions for Sore Nipples 

If you have painful, sore nipples during breastfeeding (beyond the first minute or two of discomfort that sometimes occurs) you need to take your baby off the breast and try for a better latch. Be sure to break the suction first. Gently slide a clean finger between baby’s lips and gums until you feel the suction release.

Even mothers with broken skin on their nipples can heal while breastfeeding. When their nipples reach the comfort zone, there is no friction and pressure.

If your breasts are very full and taut, it may help to express a little milk first. It is easier for a baby to draw a soft breast back to the comfort zone than a firm, full breast.

If after working to get a deeper latch, you aren’t feeling better within a day or two, seek help from a board-certified lactation consultant. Other solutions may be needed with other causes of nipple pain.

If you have broken skin on your nipples, products that provide a healthy moisture balance will help soothe sore nipples. Mothers were once told to keep their nipples dry, but now moist wound healing is recommended.

See our nipple moisturizing products. Helpful products include: Hydrogels

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding offers a number of health and financial benefits. If you decide to breastfeed, you and your family will enjoy many positive aspects that result from this choice.

Take a moment to learn about these fascinating health benefits and imagine how they might affect you and your family if you decide to breastfeed.

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding

The health benefits of breastfeeding for an infant are due to the beneficial substances that are present in human breast milk but lacking in formula. There are also health benefits for mothers.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mothers

Studies suggest that mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop:

  • Breast or ovarian cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Postpartum depression1,2

Benefits of Breast Milk for Full Term Infants

Studies suggest that full term infants who breastfeed or who are fed breast milk are at reduced risk for1,2:

  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
  • Asthma
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Otitis media
  • Colds, ear and throat infections
  • Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
  • GI tract infections
  • Celiac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Atopic dermatitis, eczema
  • Higher Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Type I and II Diabetes
  • Leukemia: ALL, AML

Benefits of Breast Milk for Preterm Infants

Studies suggest that preterm infants who receive their mother’s breast milk receive numerous immediate and long-term benefits.

Immediate Breastfeeding Benefits include1,2:

  • Decreased rate of sepsis
  • Decreased rates of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
  • Fewer hospital re-admissions within one year of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) discharge
  • Improved clinical feeding tolerance and attainment of full enteral feeds
  • Decreased severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)

Long-Term Breastfeeding Benefits include1,2:

  • Improved neurodevelopmental outcomes
  • Decreased metabolic syndrome
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • Increased leptin and insulin metabolism

Learn More

Learn more about the key health benefits of breastfeeding for moms and babies by watching our short video, Benefits of Breastfeeding for Moms & Babies.

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Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding

In addition to health benefits, breastfeeding provides significant economic benefits to both individual households and the healthcare system at large.

Total US Savings

A detailed pediatric cost analysis based on a report prepared by the US Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) concluded that if 90% of US mothers breastfed for six months, there would be a savings of $13 billion per year.3

Savings Per Infant

Babies who are breastfed for six months provide an estimated healthcare cost savings of $3,172 per infant.3

Pre-Term Infant

Preterm infants who receive breast milk for more than 50% of their feedings in the first 14 days of life have a six-fold decrease in developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). This can decrease cost and length of a hospital stay, saving $74,000 per case, 12 additional days for medical NEC, and $198,000 for 43 additional days per case of surgical NEC.4, 5

References

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. 2012;129(3): e827-841. Available at pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2011-3552
  2. Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, Trikalinos TA, Lau J. A summary of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s evidence report on breastfeeding in developed countries. Breastfeed Med, 2009;4(SI ):S 17-30
  3. Bartick M, Reinhold A. The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: a pediatric cost analysis.  Pediatrics. 2010; 125(5). Available at: www.pediatrics.org/cgi/conent/full/125/5/e1048, accessed 3/21/13.
  4. Sisk PM, Lovelady CA, Dillard RG, Gruber KJ, O’Shea TM. Early human milk feeding is associated with a lower risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in very low birth weight infants. J Perinatol. 2007;27:428-33.
  5. Ganapathy V, Hay JW, Kim JH. Costs of necrotizing enterocolitis and cost-effectiveness of exclusively human milk-based products in feeding extremely premature infants. Breastfeed Med. 2012;7(I):29-37.