- Weight loss of about 5-7 percent is considered normal during the first 3 to 4 days after birth, due to shedding of excess fluids in baby’s tissues and the passage of meconium (baby’s first stool)
- When breastfeeding is going normally, baby tends to regain his birth weight within 10 days to 2 weeks
- For the first 3-4 months, average weight gain for a breastfed baby is approximately 150 grams per week till doubling birth weight around 6th month
- Do note that rules about weight gain appropriate for bottle fed babies may not be appropriate for breastfed babies.
- Baby’s skin should be soft and moist.
- If pinched/pressed, the skin should immediately return to its normal appearance and not stay pinched looking or remain dented.
- Tissues around the eyes and in the baby’s mouth should be moist and pink.
- 1-2 wet diapers per day is normal during the first 1-2 days after birth
- After 4-5 days, baby’s wet diapers should increase until he has 6 wet cloth diapers or 5 disposable diapers per day.
- The baby’s urine should be pale in colour and mild-smelling after the first few days, though occasional darker urine is not of concern.
- In the first few days after birth, baby’s dark tarry stools are called meconium.
- By 4th day, you will see transitional stools where dark colour of meconium is still visible, but lighter, yellowish curds can also be seen.
- Usually by 5th day, the bowel movements have taken on the appearance of the normal breastmilk stool. It is often described as “bright yellow and seedy”, and usually has little odour. There may be a significant amount of liquid stool absorbed into the diaper with only some solid material on top. This is sometimes thought to be diarrhea by parents, but it is not. However, bowel movements may vary considerably from this description. They may be green or orange, may contain curds or mucus, or may resemble shaving lotion in consistency (from air bubbles). The variation in colour does not mean something is wrong unless it smells very acidic and extremely watery (transparent) at short intervals.
- After 6 weeks of age some breastfed babies have fewer bowel movements, which is not a cause for concern as long as baby is gaining weight within the normal range.
- To note: The stool of a formula-fed baby has less of the bright yellow, seedy consistency of a breast-fed infant stool.