What are your baby’s hunger cues?
“How do I know if my baby is hungry?” Or “When should I feed my baby?”
These are some of the most common questions asked by new parents.
Not to worry, the answer is very simple!
Babies can’t communicate directly with us, but they can communicate indirectly in the form of cues that they give us, they show us some cues that we need to learn and understand. These cues are their way of telling us they may be hungry, full of wind, have a dirty nappy, is too hot or too cold, and so on.
As regards feeding, whether you breast or bottle-feed your baby they have hunger cues just like the image above, and it is their way of telling us they want to be fed and generally want to be fed now!!
By learning and recognizing these simple cues, you will know when they are hungry and when they want to feed.
The trick is to respond to their early cues rather than letting them get to the late stage. In our diagram below, we’ve indicated the early, mid and late cues using the following colours:
Yellow: Early cues, means “I’m hungry”
Orange: Mid cues, means “I’m very hungry”
Red: Late cues, means “Feed me now”
We are all human and as new parents there can be delays in recognising these cues but don’t worry a simple calming down of baby with a gentle cuddle can relax them and then off you go to feed again.
Recognising when your new baby asks to be fed will soon become second nature to you. In the first few days, his pattern may vary considerably, from initially feeding infrequently to lots of feeds.