It's important to know if your baby is getting enough nutrition and fluid because newborns become dehydrated quickly and need a steady supply of incoming calories to grow and develop. Keeping track of how much your little one is taking in is more difficult if you're breastfeeding and can't measure meals; in these cases, the number of wet diapers your newborn produces is key. Recording your baby's meals and wet diapers can give you peace of mind and help your pediatrician determine if there are any health issues to worry about.
Print out a feeding chart online or create your own on paper or on your computer with separate columns for feedings and wet diapers. Make sure each column has a minimum of 15 rows, because a typical newborn eats eight to 12 times every day and has five to six wet diapers and several bowel movements, according to the La Leche League. Make sure there's a place for the date at the top of the log sheet.
Begin the first day you bring your baby home from the hospital. While you are in the hospital, the staff will likely be recording this information for you. Ask for a copy to bring home to complete your records, if you'd like.
Note the exact time your newborn begins and ends breastfeeding and which breast he nurses from. If you are bottle-feeding, record the time of the feeding and the number of ounces consumed.
Check your newborn baby's diapers frequently, and write down each time you change a wet diaper. If the diaper seems excessively full when you change it, check it more frequently.
Note the consistency and color of your baby's bowel movements, if you are tracking this information. You can either record this in the same column as wet diaper information, or you can note it in a separate column just for bowel movements.
Look over the log each night before bed to ensure you've not forgotten to add any important information. Highlight any times of concern for discussion with your pediatrician.
Begin a new log sheet every morning, and store the previous day’s chart in a safe place.
Don’t forget to record feedings and diaper changes that occur in the middle of the night.