Dr. Pamela Smith, ND 

Dr. Pam has a family practice at The Nest Family Wellness Centre which offers naturopathic and midwifery care. She combines science-based natural medicine with conventional medical therapeutics. Learn more about Dr. Pam and the services offered by her clinic here, or book an appointment at www.drpamelasmith.com.

Check out the latest Ask Dr Pam Q&A and posts by topic below as well as her health and wellness posts.

Ask Dr Pam   

How do I know my baby is getting enough nutrients/calories?


This a common question that I get from concerned parents. There are many signs and symptoms to monitor to ensure your baby is getting what they need:

  1. Count the wet diapers: within the first week of life an infant should have 5-6 fairly wet diapers in a 24 hour period. 
  2. Weight gain: it is normal for your baby to lose up to 7% of their birth weight in the first few days of life. They should return to this weight or surpass it by the 2nd week mark; after this time most breast fed babies gain around 170 g (60 ounces) per week
  3. Other signs: 
  • Your baby should have good colour to their skin, be filling out and continuing to grow in length, head circumference is within optimal percentile, their fontanels (soft spots on their head) are not sunken, they are alert and active
  • Signs they are not getting enough or are dehydrated: fontanels & eyes are sunken, baby cries but no tears are produced, dry or brittle hair/skin, lethargic, they have gone more than 6 hours without a wet diaper, all of these reasons you should contact your healthcare practitioner.

Growth spurts are common especially around 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months which may cause a change in your baby’s eating and sleeping patterns. Babies also become more efficient in removing milk from breast, which may result in a shorter feeding time. These are all normal activities however some parents think these changes may mean their baby is ready for solids which is not always the case. Make sure you are keeping in contact with healthcare practitioner to track growth changes regularly.