My baby is not gaining enough weight

My baby is not gaining enough weight
My baby is not gaining enough weight

Sometimes baby does not gain enough weight: when exclusively breastfed, it can sometimes be difficult to know if he is drinking enough. A few possible solutions.


First and foremost, even if he drinks enough, it is normal for newborns to lose some weight immediately after birth, at during its first days of life. Usually, he will begin to regain this lost weight around day four, and it is hoped that he will finally be back to his birth weight in 10 or 14 days, at most. The first days of his life, we will also weigh baby to make sure that he regains, slowly but surely, his weight.

Gain weight

So if he's gaining a little weight every day, he's getting enough milk. Once he's back to his birth weight, you don't need to weigh him every day. Theoretically, your child should gain 0.6 to 1.4 kg per month, until the age of 3 months. That being said, all children are different and when you visit the doctor, they will make sure your child is following their curve and if not, don't worry, they will will notify you by suggesting solutions adapted to your child.

If you are worried, and yourappointment is still far away, you can always contact a CLSC nurse or your family doctor.

How do I know if he is drinking enough?

It's not always easy to know if baby is getting enough milk, especially when exclusively breastfeeding. Here are the signs that baby is drinking enough:

  • He wakes up on his own to drink, when he is hungry.
  • He has a good latch and drinks well and often. Breastfed babies need to suckle about 8 or more times (often 12 times) per 24 hours, while non-breastfed babies need about 6 or more times per 24 hours.
  • He doesn't seem hungry anymore after drinking, he's calm.
  • His urine and stool are in sufficient quantity. Urine should not be dark yellow, like that of an adult.
  • And, of course, he's gaining weight.

Baby doesn't drink enough

Also, your baby may not be drinking enough if:

  • He is very sleepy and you have trouble waking him up to drink.
  • He wets few diapers, and his urine is dark yellow and scanty.
  • There are orange spots in his urine after the first 2 days. These are urate crystals.
  • After the 5e day of life, you notice that his stool still contains meconium.
  • Between the age of 5 days and 4 weeks, he passes less than one bowel movement per day (24 hours).

What if my baby is not gaining enough weight?

Your baby is not drinking enough and not takingenough weight? Here are some tips you can adopt:

  • The benefits of skin-to-skin contact are rightly touted. Keep your baby close to you as much as possible. This privileged contact has the effect, among other things, of stimulating baby and could lead him to drink more often.
  • Make sure your baby has a good latch. If he does it wrong, suckling may tire him out more quickly, without giving him enough milk. Also check if he can swallow well: does the milk flow from his mouth?
  • Breastfeed as often as possible: this will increase your milk supply. Do not hesitate to wake him up if necessary, if he is not drinking enough.
  • Offer both breasts more than once, at each feed, to make sure they are empty.
  • Taking birth control pills, for example, or certain medications, could affect your milk production.
  • Contact a breastfeeding support group or a CLSC nurse: trained people will be able to enlighten you, perhaps calm some fears, give you tips and react, if necessary.

If nothing is working, and your baby is not gaining enough weight, you need to see a doctor. Only he can advise you accurately, depending on your situation.

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