Every mother wants to make certain that her baby is fed and material– no-one would ever want their baby to go starving.
Signs of Hunger in Baby
Sadly our babies can not tell us if they are hungry with words, however babies do have cravings cues which can help you to offer your baby what he or she needs.
Lots of parents assume that weeping ways their baby is starving, nevertheless crying is in fact a late appetite signal– and your baby will absolutely let you know that they’re not delighted about it!
While in some cases it can’t be prevented, depending on a cry before feeding your baby can lead to feeding problems, not to mention a stressed out mum and baby.
How can it cause problems? Parenting expert and IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Specialist), Pinky McKay, states:
” Notice where your baby’s tongue is when she is screaming– a baby cannot latch on to feed when her tongue is up against the roof of her mouth, and if you do handle to calm her adequate to latch on and feed, her suck is most likely to be disorganised, or she may be tired from sobbing and just take a small feed before going to sleep. This, naturally, implies that she will most likely sleep for a very brief time then wake for another feed as her small belly rapidly empties.”
If your baby is upset or distressed, you can relax her down with some stunning skin to skin contact– bare breasted in bed or in a warm bath together is fantastic if you are at home– and enable baby to cuddle up to your breasts, or try wearing your baby. When she or he has actually relaxed, feeding may be a lot easier.
Most parents believe that sobbing is a cravings signal. But it is a late cravings cue. The baby reveals many more hints early on. If you can pick those early cravings cues, it will be much easier for you to feed the little one.
Baby Appetite Hints
” Babies offer a great deal of subtle cues that they are prepared to feed, long prior to they start to weep” from rooting with their mouths to making drawing noises and trying to draw on their fists, along with little noises that say, ‘I’m working up to a cry’,” states Pinky.
The great, evidence-based breastfeeding website, kellymom.com, lists these cravings hints for babies.
Early Baby Hunger Cues:
- Smacking or licking lips
- Opening and closing mouth
- Drawing on lips, tongue, hands, fingers, toes, toys, or clothes
Active Baby Cravings Hints:
- Rooting around on the chest of whoever is carrying him
- Aiming to position for nursing, either by lying back or pulling on your clothes Fidgeting or squirming around a lot
- Striking you on the arm or chest consistently
- Fussing or breathing quick
Late Baby Hunger Hints:
- Moving head frantically from side to side
What If I Am Still Uncertain If My Baby Is Hungry?
If you believe that your baby is starving but you are uncertain, there is no damage in providing a feed. Specifically if you are breastfeeding, putting your baby to the breast not just feeds your baby if he is starving, but it assists your breastmilk supply and can comfort and assure your baby.
You will not harm your baby or develop any “bad” or “clingy” routines. I fed all my babies when they appeared starving, when they were upset or whenever I felt it would assist them. I can tell you this: my oldest two, now including a teen and pre-teen, are really independent and are certainly not looking for my boobs for comfort. I make certain my son will be much more thinking about another person’s in some years to come!
When in doubt: boob!
For formula fed babies, have a look at our post on bottle nursing– hint based feeding for bottle fed babies.