Among the important moments in the daily life of newborns are meals. Indeed, in the first months with your baby, whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, these meals punctuate your days and can sometimes be a source of concern: How do you know if your baby is hungry or if he/she has eaten enough? Since he/she cannot yet express himself in words, should we resolve to give him/her food at fixed times without trying to find out if he/she wants to eat? Well, spoiler alert, the answer is no, unless your doctor recommends you do so (especially for a baby who is gaining too little weight). And the good news is that there are many signs that indicate that your child is hungry!
Baby is hungry: the signs to recognize
Before they can speak, babies are able to indicate that they are hungry through different physical signals :
- Hustle : when he/she was completely calm, your baby suddenly starts moving a lot and stretching his/her arms and legs;
- foraging : he/she turns his/her head while he/she is in your arms, as if to look for the breast or the bottle and position himself to eat;
- Suction : even if there is nothing to suckle, your child can try to do so and make sucking movements with his mouth, even bring his hands to his mouth to suckle them (he/she can also stick out his tongue );
- Tears : Baby crying is the ultimate sign, which happens when he/she has waited and the hunger is too strong. In this case, it is recommended to try to calm him/her before giving him/her food, because he/she may swallow air while drinking if he/she still cries and be bothered by gas after meals.
The majority of babies use one or more (or even all, one after the other!) of these signals. So be careful and also take care not to not leave too much time between mealsespecially if your baby is very small.
Feeding your baby without going through the cry box is a small victory! But the question that usually comes right after is “Does my baby have still hungry ? » Because even if you religiously follow the recommendations for the quantity of milk according to Baby’s age, it is possible that your child will not be satisfied after his bottle (in the case of a breastfed baby, you do not know the amount drunk but you may wonder if you did not remove Baby from the breast too soon). There again, don’t panic: just pay attention to the signals sent by Baby to be reassured. A toddler who has eaten enough starts by stopping suckling, or even spits out the pacifier or nipple and closes his mouth. He/she often turns his/her head away and takes an interest in what is happening around him/her: if curiosity takes over, it means that hunger is no longer there. Finally, two unmistakable signs: your baby falls asleep if he is tired or starts to play and laugh. Conversely, if your child gets angry and repeats one of the hunger signals mentioned above, it means that he has not had his account.
Baby food: watch out for stress
For new parents, baby food can be an obsession and a source of stress. The best proof that he/she is eating well is to see that he/she is growing and gaining weight well. But if meal times worry you, don’t hesitate to talk about it with your pediatrician, in order to avoid generating unnecessary stress for Baby. And above all, keep in mind that from birth, children are able to regulate themselves and eat to satiety when they are hungry. A baby does not let itself starve or eat too much!
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