You are exclusively breastfeeding and are unsure if your baby is full when breastfeeding from the breast. It can be so hard to be confident that baby is getting enough when you are breastfeeding for the first time.
Maybe you don’t have people around you who have breastfed their own babies and just have no where to turn to for your questions.
Don’t worry mama you got this!
How Do I Know My Baby Is Full When Breastfeeding?
I am here to help in anyway that I can and I am more than willing to answer any questions you may have! I have compiled an amazing list of over 50 breastfeeding resources to help you from learning how to breastfed to learning how to wean.
Baby wants to breastfeed constantly
Are you worried that your baby isn’t getting enough breast milk because your baby wants to breastfeed constantly? Try not to stress over a seemingly constantly hunger baby. It is normal.
It is called cluster feeding and there are many reasons your baby does it. Cluster feeding is when your baby wants to nurse just after being done or shortly after and it is very common in the first few weeks. So why does your baby cluster feed?
- growth spurt
- to boost your supply
Let your baby nurse even if they are breastfeeding constantly because it is great for your supply, won’t hurt baby, and will help you bond.
How will you know if baby is full from breast milk?
So if baby is cluster feeding and nursing all the time how are you suppose to know if baby is still hungry or if baby is full? There are some great ways to tell if baby is hunger if you just follow hunger cues, you can find those here.
Below you will find a few simple ways to know that baby is full and just may need some comfort.
Babies Hands are Relaxed
If you watch babies hands you will notice when they are awake their hands are often in a fist. No matter what they are doing it is with a fist. This is normal!
But when you are nursing your baby you will notice that their hands will slowly start to relax and if they were holding your hand or on to any part of your shirt they will let go.
This is a great sign that baby is indeed satisfied and full of breast milk!
Just watch those hands in a few short months they will start to pinch and twiddle.
Babies Body is relaxed: milk drunk
When your baby is nursing they are often turned in to and snuggling with you as they eat more they begin to relax and go floppy.
By the time your baby is full they often end up so relaxed and on their back with arms and legs sprawled. They will often let your nipple fall out of their mouth and be content.
We often call this “milk drunk” and it is one of my favorite parts of breastfeeding a baby! It takes a close second to the smell of babies breast milk breath. Sound weird, but it is so true! It’s not the only surprising thing about breastfeeding either.
A milk drunk baby may have milk coming out of the corner of its mouth and will enjoy a little snooze or maybe even take a nice nap.
Baby may fall asleep
Why? Well breast milk is warm, comforting, and filling.
This leads to full tummies and sleepy eyes. Don’t be surprised when you little one doesn’t sleep long especially overnight. Yes breast milk is filling, but it also digest faster than formula and there for baby is hungry faster.
Have you heard of dream feeding? This is where you feed baby while they are still half asleep so you can get a longer stretch of sleep! Find out exactly what dream feeding is and how to do it on this post!
Baby is calm
If baby doesn’t fall asleep baby should be calm and content after nursing. If you pop your baby off the breast and they immediately root for the breast or start to fuss don’t panic. It doesn’t mean they aren’t getting enough. They could just need the comfort, or are cluster feeding.
Baby may still want to snuggle or be held, but this is the perfect time to try some tummy time! Tummy time should be started right away to help baby get use to it. You can totally do this on you and just lay baby belly to belly with yourself.
In the beginning you will notice that your breasts get hard and heavy in between feedings. This will happen until your supply regulates (around 6 weeks) then this feeling might not happen!
Again, normal and is not an indication of supply it is simply that your body has honed in to how much breast milk your baby needs.
But in the first 6 weeks after baby nurses your breast will feel empty and light this is the perfect indication that baby was able to empty your breast.
Side note: your breast is NEVER 100% empty because your body is always making more.
How many wet diapers your baby has a day are going to depend on how often you change your baby. In general your baby should have 6 to 7 wet diapers with 2 of them being very wet.
Your babies output means your baby is getting milk!!!
What about poop? Breastfed babies are very different from formula fed babies in the poop department. Why?
Breast milk doesn’t have waste, everything that is in breast milk is useful. So some babies will poop every day shoot for the first month they could poop each and ever time they nurse! It won’t be but there will be some poop there.
On the other side of the spectrum it is common for breastfed babies to not poop at all for a week. Totally normal too, but be ready for a blow out when it happens!
Struggling to keep track of wet diapers? Sign up below for your free breastfeeding and diaper tracker!
How will you know baby is full?
You can feel confident that your baby is getting enough breast milk if baby is calm, sleepy, having wet diapers, and soft breasts.
I struggled tremendously when first breastfeeding because I was so unsure if baby was getting enough breast milk especially in between doctor appointments and weight checks. Going to those weight checks and seeing my little baby grow made me so confident in my ability to breastfeed.
I wish I had more support in those first few months as I had no clue what I was doing. For this very reason I suggest taking a breastfeeding class! I have taken this online class and I wish it was around 4 years ago when I was pregnant and scared of breastfeeding.
I have put together a review of the Milkology online breastfeeding class so you know what you are paying for (only $19), she also offers an amazing pumping class for those who will need to express breast milk!