How Will You Know that Your Baby Suckles Efficiently?

How does the baby suckle, what is the right grasp of the breast and what is efficient breastfeeding, how can you tell that your baby is hungry and how will you know he has suckled enough?

Suckling Action

The baby presses with his tongue on the nipple against the hard palate in a wavy motion and the milk flows from the milk stores into his mouth.
During the suckling vacuum is created in the mouth, the vacuum stresses the structure of the nipple.
The milk is flowing from the milk ducts. The wavy stress of the tongue on the palate flows the milk into the baby’s mouth.
A baby grasping the breast well and suckling efficiently is able to extract milk from the nipple without brazing the nipple and breast skin.

Correct Grasping of the Nipple

A correct suckling is a suckling in which the baby grasps the breast well and suckles efficiently

  • The baby’s chin touches the breast
  • The mouth is wide open
  • The lower lip turns outside
  • The baby grasps most of the areola in his mouth
  • The baby suckles from the breast and not from the nipple.

Incorrect Grasping of the Nipple

  • The baby holds the nipple and not the areola in his mouth
  • The milk ducts are not in the baby’s mouth and his tongue cannot reach them
  • The baby’s tongue is deep in his mouth and cannot apply pressure on the milk ducts.
  • The baby only suckles from the nipple
  • The mouth is not wide open and it is clenched forward
  • The lower lip does not turn outwards
  • The areola area above and below the mouth is similar and large.


When the mother has a large areola, a large part of it will be visible. This for itself does not testify for incorrect grasping.
It is important that the area of the areal above the mouth will always be larger than that which is below the mouth.

Measurements for Sufficient Suckling

  • Wet diapers - a baby who receives only breastmilk, in a sufficient amount, and does not get any other drinks, will provide clear urine 6-8 times a day.
  • Stools - during the first few days, baby’s stools are black (meconium), at four days old, the stools should be more of a brownish-yellowish tone.
  • Baby’s behavior - in the beginning of breastfeeding the fists are clenched and at the end they are relaxed.
  • Weight gain - the weight is the most reliable and important measurement used to assess if the baby is getting enough milk.

Each baby has an individual weight. Each baby should gain weight according to its growth curb, breastfeeding babies have different growth curbs than formula fed babies.

Reasons for Crying:

Hunger over expedited growth rates (growth “spur”)

The baby appears to be hungry for a few days, perhaps because he is growing faster than he used to. He is asking to feed more often. It is common in two weeks, six weeks and three months, but can happen at any other time. If a baby suckles more often for a few days, your milk supply increases and the baby returns to suckle less frequently.

Mother’s nutrition

Sometimes you will feel the baby more “upset” when you are eating a certain type of food. This can happen with any food. There is no particular food that we can advise to avoid, unless you see a problem.
Caffeine in coffee, tea and coke can transfer to the milk and influence the baby.
It is recommended to eat a diverse diet
If you or anyone else in the family smokes around the baby it can affect him.
Babies for a smoking or drug using mother are influenced by this and may cry more often than other babies.

Milk Excess

When the baby is not suckling properly, he suckles at a higher rate or for a long time, and this can stimulate the breast to create more milk.
When the baby fails to empty one side before moving to the other side, he may get too much foremilk and not enough hind milk.
The baby’s stool may be watery and/or of a greenish hue in such cases.
His weight gain can be slower or normal.
He may be restless, crying and asking to suckle more often.
In such situations, even though you have plenty of milk, you may think that your milk does not satisfy the baby. You should consult a breastfeeding advisor to try and correct the wrong suckling or any other situation that may be disturbing breastfeeding


Some babies cry for no apparent reason.
Sometimes the crying has a pattern - the baby pulls his leg like his stomach hurts, he cries for a long time during a certain time of day, usually during the evening, he looks like he wants to suckle, but it is very difficult to comfort him.
The reason for this pain is unclear. Normally, the phenomenon passes in three months.

Babies with “needs” or “demands”

Some babies cry more than others and they should be held more.
It was found that in societies where mothers hold their babies more, their babies cry less than in societies where the mothers hold their babies less.