Keeping a record of your breastfeeding may seem a little time consuming. Not only do you need to feed your baby, but then document the entire process as well! However, there is huge merit to the art of keeping a successful breastfeeding log book.
Believe it or not, a record of your feeds holds many, helpful secrets for you. The most important one being you will be able to track your little one’s over all health progression. Within this article, we will highlight what metrics you should be keeping track of, and how they will benefit you and your baby in the long run.
Read on below now and get acquainted with the art of keeping a record of your breastfeeding and unlock the secrets it holds for you today.
Why You Need To Record Your Breastfeeding
As a parent, any information you can keep on your child’s development is pure gold. This is where a breastfeeding log book comes in incredibly handy. Within its pages you will be able to document vital statistics of your baby’s feeding habits. These will help you recognize any problems, should they arise, as you will be familiar with your child’s eating habits.
Furthermore, a breastfeeding record wont only help you, but others who may eventually become responsible for your child as well. When you eventually return to work, this log book will be able to provide either your nanny or day care centre with crucial information on your baby’s eating habits. They will know roughly when to feed your little one, how much to feed them and knowing how many times they should change your child throughout the day.
Criteria To Document In Your Breastfeed Record
Here are the top five criteria you should be keeping track of when you begin to record your breastfeeding patterns:
#1: How Often Your Child Feeds
Keeping a record of feeding frequency helps you in two areas: you will know how often your baby feeds throughout the day. You will also be able to start creating a feeding schedule off of this data.
Knowing how much your baby feeds will give you a good indication as to how much milk you will need to have available. Your body is a wonderful thing. During your breastfeeding journey, it should produce the exact right amounts of milk for your little one to feed comfortably. However, keeping a breastfeeding log book will help you understand how much milk you should express and store for times you may not be around to feed your baby.
**Top Tip: remember, your breast milk can be frozen without compromising its nutritional value. It can then be used at a later stage.
Another wonderful thing about keeping track of feeding habits is that you will begin to be able to build a feeding schedule. You will know exactly when your little one begins to get niggly and be able to swiftly go into feeding mode! Having a schedule will also help you plan your own life. You will be able to schedule event and outings around that precious tie with your baby. As mentioned above, you will also be able to provide other care takers with useful information on when your child should be fed throughout the day.
#2: How Long Your Baby Feeds For
Knowing how long your little one feeds for is another snippet of useful information. It will help you establish how many minutes need to set aside per feed. You will also be able to track how many minutes is spent on either breast.
Once again, this will help you establish an accurate feeding schedule. It will also help you familiarize yourself with how long you should be pumping each breast when you begin to express your milk when going back to the office.
#3: When Nature Calls
In your feeding log book, you should also track how many soiled nappies your baby produces throughout the day. This is incredible information to have because should your child become ill, and either produce too many or too few soiled nappies, you will be able to pick up on it immediately.
Monitor both the wet nappies, as well as the dirty ones. This will allow you to keep track of your child’s digestive health on an ongoing basis.
#4: The Weigh In
Make a note to also keep track of your baby’s weight within your feeding records. The general rule of thumb stipulates that within the first two week’s of your baby’s life, they should be weighed every five days. Between two weeks to six months, you should weigh your baby once a month. Don’t weigh your baby at home. Rather, take him or her to your doctor and get accurate results!
Keeping track of your baby’s weight gain (or loss) will allow you to monitor their growth. Should their weight fluctuate dramatically from one month to the next, you will be able to notice it instantly, and seek the correct help going forward.
#5: How Do You Feel
Another important metric to take note of is how you feel post feeding. Particularly, monitor how each of your breasts feel after this time. Should one feel particularly full, you will know you need to express that one after each feed. In the same right, should both still feel full, you will know to express both.
By doing this, you will also be able to keep track of what feels normal and what doesn’t for you. Should your breasts begin to feel different, keep track of these changes and consult your doctor about them.
How To Keep A Record Of Your Breastfeeding Cycles
Documenting your breastfeeds sounds simple enough. And truth be told, it is. As such, there is no reason you should be tracking your breastfeeding cycles. You can keep track of your feeds in the following ways:
- Write them into a note book
- Make digital notes on your phone
- Keep a record in a feeding log book such as the Medela template
We find it easiest to set up a template and fill in your daily records within it. This saves you time and ensures you won’t miss out on any key information points! A great template is available from Medela and can be downloaded right here.