Wednesday 28 February 2024
Salisbury Foundation Trust


You may have concerns about how to know your baby is getting enough in the early weeks.

Our Infant Feeding Team are available to help with any worries you may have about feeding your baby. They can provide advice over the phone and do 1:1 sessions. Their contact information can be found by clicking here.


There are some reliable signs to look for to reassure you that your new-born is getting what they need in the early weeks:

During feeding

Your baby will stop feeding when they are ready and have had enough. The normal length of a feed can be between 5-40 minutes. If you have any concerns in regards to positioning or attachment, please visit our Breastfeeding section, which includes helpful demonstration videos and tips from our Infant Feeding Team. 


  • Wet nappies – as a rough guide, there should be the same number of wet nappies as how many days old your baby is, e.g three days old = three wet nappies in 24 hours; six days old = six wet nappies in 24 hours. From one week onwards you should look for a minimum of 8 heavy wet nappies throughout each 24-hour period.
  • Dirty nappies - expect at least one in the first 24 hours; then two or more at least 50p piece sized every 24 hours for the next six weeks. Look for the changing colour in the first week as a good indicator your baby is getting enough milk.


Weight Loss

It is common for new-borns to lose some weight in the first few days after birth and usually relates to them being born with excess fluid that adjusts after birth. This weight loss usually stops after about 3 or 4 days of life and most infants have returned to their birth weight by 3 weeks of age and continue to steadily increase from then on.


Formula fed babies are unlikely to lose excessive amounts of weight so if a formula fed baby loses more than 10% of its birth weight, the baby will need to be referred to see a paediatrician at the hospital.


When a baby has lost more weight than expected there are a number of possible causes; these fit into four broad categories:

1) Plenty of breastmilk but baby feeding ineffectively

2) Lactation slow to establish but baby feeding effectively

3) Lactation slow to establish and baby feeding ineffectively

4) Another underlying cause


If you have any concerns, please contact the feeding team, your midwife or GP.

Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

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Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital, Odstock Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ
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