Having a printable breastfeeding log can be so helpful in the first weeks of nursing. It allows you to track how often you are feeding, which side you last fed on and how long your baby ate for. This is valuable information for moms to have in order to monitor your newborn’s health.
If you are preparing to breastfeed for the first time, print a few copies of this pdf to have for the first few days home with baby.
Tracking all your feedings may seem unnecessary, but as breastfeeding is being established it is actually very useful because it helps you build a rhythm to your feedings and better understand YOUR baby.
All babies are unique individuals and will eat, sleep and have dirty diapers at different rates.
It’s important to know what is normal for your baby.
The best way to see you infant’s progress is to track for the first few weeks or months.
Generally, it’s a good ideas to track breastfeeding daily until feeding is well established, baby is growing well, and you feel comfortable.
Tracking breastfeeding and dirty diapers daily helps you to see if there are any changes to your baby’s patterns, allowing you to better understand how to care for them.
There are many breastfeeding tracker apps that you can download for your phone, but having a printable breastfeeding log has a few advantages.
- It saves you from constantly glancing back and forth at your phone. It’s best when establishing breastfeeding to keep phone use to a minimum as it can be very distracting for both mom and baby, making the whole process much more difficult.
- You can quickly glance at it to get the information you need rather than get sucked into opening your phone, waiting to load and then scrolling and searching for what you are looking for.
- You can track night feedings without opening your phone.
Many midwives, lactation consultants and doctors will ask you to track feeding sessions early on to ensure that baby is eating enough.
If your baby is not gaining weight, or you are concerned about having a low milk supply, it’s a good idea to track every time you breastfeed so that you can evaluate what is going on and share that information with your care provider.
Learn more about how to use a breastfeeding tracking log below and download a printable one to get started.
How to use a Breastfeeding Log Printable
Now that you understand why it’s important, let’s get started with how to use a breastfeeding tracker.
Track time of feeding
Record the time that you start feeding your baby. This is important so that you can see how often your baby is feeding and when the last time your fed them.
How often should you breastfeed a newborn baby?
There is no set time or amount that you should feed a baby. The goal of breastfeeding is to respond to the needs of the baby. Often referred to as “on demand feeding”.
By feeding on demand your body responds to the cues of your baby and produces milk. Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement.
The general rule is to aim to feed 10-12 times per day (within 24 hrs).
Most babies will eat about every two hours with slightly longer time in between at night.
If your baby is very sleepy, it may be necessary to wake them to encourage them to feed. If they are gaining weight though, extra baby sleep is a good thing.
Eating more often than every two hours is normal. Some babies just eat more.
—>>>> Focus on responding to your baby’s needs rather than an exact schedule, especially in the first weeks while establishing breastfeeding.
If you are having trouble keeping up with your baby’s feeding demands, make sure that you have a self care plan in place and that you are eating plenty of foods to support milk supply.
Track the side you feed on
With breastfeeding it’s important to alternate sides and make sure that baby is eating from both sides relatively equally.
Always allow baby to completely empty one side before moving on to the next. This enables them to get the valuable hind milk that has a higher fat content. Then you can offer the other side.
In the beginning your baby may not take the second side. That is ok. Just make sure to offer that side first the next time.
The printable helps you remember what side to start on.
Record the side that you started feeding on the breastfeeding log.
Then when you feed the next time you know to start on the other side.
Length of feeding
Write down the approximate length of the total feeding session.
This will change over time. And you will notice at different times of day the feedings are longer.
In the beginning, a normal breastfeeding session may only last a few minutes. Where as once feeding is established your baby may feed for 10, 20 or even 40 minutes on both sides combined.
Tracking dirty diapers gives you a good ideas of how baby is progressing.
As your newborn grows they will have more dirty diapers, unless there is a problem.
A decrease in the number of wet and dirty diapers can mean that your baby is not getting enough to eat. So monitoring this is a good idea.
In the beginning, babies typically have 1 dirty diaper for each day of their life (1 day one, 2 day two, etc..). After day 4, this can normalize to around 3-4 diapers per day
Get your Printable Download
We’ve put together a printable breastfeeding log in a pdf format that you can download and print to track your baby’s feeding sessions.
Here’s what you’ll get:
- Log with space to record each feeding daily, wet and dirty diapers and sleep
- Tips on how to best use the tracker
- Space for daily notes on your baby’s health
- A self care checklist just for you to remind you of the things to do daily to take care of yourself so that you can take care of baby
Pin this post for later!