How are you to know when your baby is hungry? Well here we have a few suggestions on how to tell if baby is hungry…
~ Baby hunger cues ~
Different hunger cues
All babies are different and all have different ways of letting you know that they are hungry…as you and baby start to know one another you will recognize your baby's unique hunger signals.
The baby hunger cry (late sign of hunger)
- The hungry infant might cry to let you know that he is hungry, but will usually give other “baby hunger signs” before crying, namely…
Mouth, lip or tongue movements like
- Making sucking motions with lips
- Opening and closing the mouth
- Sticking out the tongue
- Puckering of lips
Rooting for the breast
- Baby moves his head from side to side as if looking for something. This is called the rooting reflex
- If you touch the side of baby’s head and he turns that way looking for something to suck then you will know that baby is hungry.
Hand to mouth reflex
- When baby puts his hands in his mouth and sucks them. Baby might also suck other things like toys or clothing.
Alertness and activity
- Baby is moving his arms and legs and making some sounds.
Rapid eye movement while sleeping
- This is a great time to feed a sleepy newborn if you know he hasn’t fed in a while.
Interpreting baby cries
- Every baby is different and therefore every mom needs to learn to interpret her own baby’s cries.
- If baby cries less than an hour after a feeding, then you know that he is not very likely hungry. As baby gets older the time between feedings will increase.
- A baby hunger cry will usually start off with “baby hunger cues” of discomfort, grunts and wining sounds.
- If baby begins to suck and, then leaves the breast again and begins crying once more, then you know that he is probably not hungry.
- Some infant cries are just plain developmental…
if baby doesn’t want to breastfeed, just leave him until he does. Don’t force baby to feed.
Things to remember
- If your baby is younger than six weeks it’s always best to feed him every two hours. You do not need to stick to a fixed schedule…just make sure you breastfeed baby at least eight times every 24 hours.
- Babies who are always hungry ~ Some hungry babies like to breastfeed more often than every two hours and that is perfectly normal. The first few weeks of constant feeding will help build a good milk supply. Worried about overfeeding baby?... read here.
- “My breastfed baby acts hungry, but just drank a few minutes ago!” Your baby might not be hungry, but still show the signs above because of: developmental stages, if baby wants to comfort nurse , baby is just thirsty or your baby may also drink more than he should if he is getting a lactose overload (drinking too much foremilk) Read more on this here. growth spurt.
- Some babies do not like to feed until they are full and might like to drink small amounts every hour or so…this is normal.
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