How To Know When Your Baby Is Hungry?

How To Know When Your Baby Is Hungry
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Last Updated on June 2, 2022 by

Children who are already talking will tell you when they are hungry and satisfied. Unfortunately, this is not the same for infants since they have a sophisticated way of communicating. Small babies will communicate their needs in other ways.

If you are a new mom, at first you may not notice your baby’s feeding cues. However, as you begin to recognize little hints, you will be in a position to tell when your baby is feeling hungry.

Remember that your baby is the boss when he needs to eat and gets satisfied. Do not force food on your baby if they are not hungry and once they get full. Here are signs that can help you know when your baby is hungry.

CryingBabies will not always cry if they are hungry. They can cry if they have soaked their diapers and are feeling wet or even if they are feeling sleepy. However, they still do cry when they are feeling hungry.

This is one of the later signs of hunger. By the time the baby cries, they are normally very hungry and frustrated. Different cries have different needs. For example, a hunger cry is normally short, rises and falls with low pitches.

Babies use a lot of energy while crying and end up becoming very stressed and tense. As discussed below, it is good to feed your baby early enough when you notice the earlier hunger signs. This is because once the baby is crying from hunger, it will be very difficult to calm them down and they will not breastfeed properly.

1. Sucking On Their Fist and Putting Fingers on The Mouth

Once you see your baby sucking on their fist and putting fingers in their mouth is a sign of hunger. A baby with such signs will probably latch on more easily because they are hungry.

Smacking Lips and Sucking Their Tongues

Another simple sign indicating your kid is hungry is if you catch them sucking their tongue or smacking their lips.

2. Acting Restless

Acting Restless Know Your Baby Is Hungry

A hungry baby will not remain still and wait for you to breastfeed him or her when you wish. They will always act restless. For example, they will move their arms and legs around, around their crib, raise their hands to the face and also move their mouth. If you see your baby acting restless, they are probably hungry.

3. Alert or Just Waking Up

If your baby is not sleeping and is just awake it’s because they might be hungry. This is because babies do not stay awake for longer periods. If your baby is delaying taking their nap, consider feeding them because they might be hungry.

4. Turning Towards Your Breast When You are Holding Them

Babies know where their food comes from. Therefore, they will turn to your breast if you hold them for them to feed. This is a simple sign that the baby is hungry and wants some milk.

5. Making Little sounds

Babies tend to make some little sounds when they are hungry. You may hear them whimpering, cooing or even signing. The little sounds are not necessarily a result of hunger but they may be just early signs of feeling hungry. You can give your baby a milk bottle if you hear them making those little sounds.

6. Smiling When They See Their Milk Bottle

Even hungry adults will smile when they see food. It is no different with the kids. If you show your baby their milk bottle and they are already smiling, that is a good sign that they want to feed. Some will go to the extent of stretching their hand in reach of the milk or food. Also, when you are feeding your baby and they look at you smiling as they feed, that is another sign that they are hungry.

7. Opening Their Mouth While Feeding

A hungry baby will cooperate very well while you are feeding them. They will open their mouth as a sign that they want more. However, they will continue to show interest in the food or milk if they are not yet satisfied. A full baby will close its lips, indicating they want no more food.

8. Moving Their Head From Side To Side

A hungry baby will move its head from side to side as if they are communicating something. This is one sign of hunger; when you notice them do so, try feeding them soon, if not right away.

9. Making Faces

A hungry baby will never smile at you no matter how much effort you put into making them smile. All they will offer to you are faces. If you see your baby making faces at you, they might be hungry.

10. Reaching For Your Cup Or Spoon

If you are holding your baby and you are eating or drinking some tea, they are probably hungry if you see them trying to reach for your spoon or cup. It is good to breastfeed your baby first before you start eating.

Suppose your baby shows opposite signs, such as turning their head away from the food source, stopping or decreasing sucking, and showing interest in the surroundings rather than eating and falling asleep. In that case, they are most likely full, and you should not force them to feed.

However, some newborns sleep too much and may not show signs of hunger. Lack of feeding cues does not mean that your baby does not get hungry. Newborns need to breastfeed 8 to 10 times a day.

If your baby is not waking up on their own, at least wake them up every 3 hours and breastfeed them. Some babies will even breastfeed well even if they have not fully woken up. Always feed your baby when they are hungry but not follow a schedule because they may get hungry before that.