Recognizing Hunger In Your Newborn

recognizing hungerSome parents think that they will know when their baby is hungry because the baby will cry.

Actually, crying is one of the final ways that your baby will use to communicate that she is hungry.

If you learn to recognize baby’s earlier cues, and respond to them, there will be less crying, which makes life happier for baby and parents.

A baby who is hungry will often bring her hands to her mouth, and sometimes begin sucking on her hands and fingers, sometimes even her clothing if she can get it into her mouth. She may begin turning her head from side to side as if looking for a bottle or nipple.

When held, the baby may begin to “root around” as if searching for a breast from which to nurse. If none of these cues are met with a bottle or breast, your baby will probably begin to get fussy, increasingly so, until she begins crying.

Even when sleepy, your baby will exhibit these hunger cues. If you recognize these cues and feed your baby quickly so that she does not become fully aroused from sleep, she will go back to sleep more quickly, and consequently, so will you [Baby Feeding]. This is a time when having your baby close to you as she sleeps, such as using a co-sleeper, is especially helpful.


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