I can’t read the future in your tea leaves, but what I can do is better: I can read baby poop. There’s a lot we can learn from our baby’s pee and poo.
One of the most common questions a new mother has is how to know if her newborn is getting enough to eat. In particular, this is something that concerns mothers who choose to breastfeed because, unlike bottle feeding, there is no way to see how much milk is being transferred into your baby’s body.
I can tell you the precise amount your baby should eat every day according to a specific weight-based calculation. However, if you are breastfeeding, there is no point in knowing this formula. It will only give you anxiety because you will have no way of actually knowing what amount of your breastmilk is being consumed by your baby.
But, I can tell you if your baby is getting enough to eat. Want to know my trick? The secret is in your baby’s diaper. Yep, it’s all about the pee and poop.
When I follow up with a client in the first week after birth, I ask many pee and poo questions: How much? How often? What color? What consistency and texture? I’ve even asked for photos of it. It would be fair to say it’s a weird conversation. But the diapers reveal secrets. If your baby has enough wet and dirty diapers, then your baby is getting enough to eat.
Your Baby’s Stomach Size
Day 1-2: the size of a chickpea or hazelnut
Day 3-6: the size of a cherry or medium grape
Day 7 – 6 months: the size of a walnut in shell
Day 1 (first 24 hours): 1 wet diaper
Day 2: 2 wet diapers
Day 3: 3 wet diapers
Day 4: 4 wet diapers
Day 5 onward: at least 6 heavy wet diapers per day
*Urate crystals (uric acid) often appear in a baby’s diaper the first few days. These are rust or brick-colored, which can be alarming to parents. It’s the result of highly concentrated urine when baby’s are digesting colostrum, which isn’t a lot of liquid. Urates usually disappear around day 4 or 5 postpartum when a mother’s milk supply comes in and the baby is getting more liquid.
Day 1 -2: 1 – 2 poo diapers per day, meconium (that super sticky, black/dark green stuff which is a result of what your baby digested in-utero)
Day 3-4: 3 poo diapers per day (color will gradually change to green then yellow, become runnier, less sticky, and seedy)
Day 5 onward: at least 3 big poo diapers per day (yellow and incidentally, smells like hot buttered popcorn. I swear it’s true)
* The change in color reflects your baby’s change in diet — from colostrum to breastmilk.