7 Tips to know if your baby’s hungry
For a young mother, it can sometimes be difficult to understand the signs that her baby’s hungry. Indeed, each newborn is different and will have different reactions to stimulation and hunger. However, there are common reactions to breastfed babies. Here are our 7 tips to know if your baby is hungry, and thus be able to feed it in the most optimal way possible.
However, it is necessary to remember to listen to the advice of the pediatrician and feed your baby on a regular schedule. If you feel that your baby’s hungry, we feed him and if we feel that he does not want to eat, we do not force him. It’s all about adapting to your needs: after all, your baby is a human being, not a machine! Follow the advice to be able to recognize the best signs of hunger of your baby. Let’s go!
1. He walks towards the breast
If your baby’s hungry, he will tend to move towards the breast while trying to suckle. If you see your baby nodding while trying to suck something, he is probably hungry and looking for food. This is a reflex present in all babies of breastfeeding age. It can really help you understand if your baby is hungry at a particular time. It is therefore very convenient for you to pay attention to this sign.You can gently touch your baby’s head from one side to see if he is hungry. If it turns in the direction you touched it and seems to be looking for something to suck, you can be pretty sure your baby is hungry. Try to feed him, but if you feel he is moving away from the breast and crying, do not force him! You never force a baby to suck if he does not want to.
2. Movements of the mouth, lips, and tongue
Generally, when a baby’s hungry, it is felt through his movements and particularly the movements of his face. It may seem to try to suck something with his lips or open and close his mouth often enough for example. Also, if you notice your baby sticking out his tongue and lips, it may be a sign that he is hungry. We are therefore careful to observe the movements of the baby’s face.Indeed, it is not necessary to wait for the baby to start crying to understand that it is hungry. Even before crying, he shows some signs explicit enough to understand that he is really hungry like these movements of the mouth and face. Generally, when your baby seems less peaceful than normal, there is a high probability that he is hungry. All movements showing some discomfort can be interpreted this way. If we notice that the feed does not change anything, it is a question of wondering what causes him discomfort if it is not hunger.
3. Quick eye movements while sleeping
A baby may be hungry while sleeping. Unfortunately, when he sleeps, he will not necessarily wake up to express his hunger. By learning to observe it and to spot some signs one can understand if the baby’s hungry while sleeping. At first, rapid movements of the eyelids while sleeping are a sign that he is probably hungry. We, therefore, observe the baby’s eyelids.
Indeed, eyelids that move quickly translate sleep more agitated than normal. And in a newborn, the probability is high that his restless sleep is caused by hunger. Of course, we do not wake a sleeping baby to feed him! But we pay attention to this sign that shows that he may soon wake up to eat!
4. He carries his hands to his mouth
Babies, it’s well known, carry everything to their mouths, including their feet. However, when a new nose has his fingers in his mouth and seems to be trying to suck them, this sign can be an indicator that he is hungry and waiting to eat. The baby, instead of putting his hands and fingers in his mouth, can also try to suck his clothes, his sleeves for example.It is also possible that he falls back on his toys or a soft toy. In short, he tries to carry everything he can to the mouth in search of being fed. It’s up to you, Super Mom, to decipher these signs and give him what he wants: milk! This sign is a very good indicator that your baby wants to be fed, so we pay close attention to it. And it is not because he was hungry recently that he was no longer hungry. Babies are sometimes hungry very often!
5. Crying that starts with complaints/grunts
Every mother knows it: all babies cry differently, and their crying adapts to different situations. The crying of a hungry baby is therefore specific, and it is possible to learn to recognize them. Recognizing the different types of crying a baby can really help a mom save time and energy – something you really need as a young mother!The crying of a hungry baby usually starts with slight complaints and grunts. The baby will show a real discomfort and will make small noises to show it before actually starting to cry. It is by paying attention to these signs (before it starts to cry, therefore) that one can more easily know if the crying of the baby is related to hunger or not.
6. If the baby is very young, feed him every two hours
When your baby is less than four weeks old, he will need to be fed more often. Indeed, it is in full development and needs a lot of energy to grow. You will see it: it will change so much in a space of a month! Most infants need to breastfeed every two hours during this time. It is therefore important to be able to interpret the signs of hunger but to suggest to suck even when it does not show them.The longer your baby grows, the more time between the different feedings will be spaced. In the meantime, be careful to feed him often enough because some babies are a little less expressive than others, and it is important not to say that he is not hungry just because he is not grunting or crying. Take care, especially during this period is essential. And if the baby is hungry he will suck. If you ever made a mistake, he will not suckle. But it is important to offer him often enough.
7. Some babies are hungry more often than others
Not all babies are equal before hunger. Some are truly greedy and always begging despite being fed every two hours. Others, on the contrary, refuse to suck too often. There is no need to worry about or compare your baby to those around you: every newborn baby has a different behavior and eating habits. As long as your pediatrician feels that there is no problem with his contributions, there is nothing to compare or worry about.
We advise you to follow first the advice of your pediatrician, who knows the specificity and needs of your baby. Our tips are here to guide you and allow you to more quickly recognize signs that your baby is hungry but we are not experts in nutrition. The opinion of a health practitioner must always be listened to and followed.