Newborn Feeding Cues

Newborn Feeding Cues

Posted by Kerry Nevins on

As a new mother, you may be wondering how often and how much to feed your newborn. When your baby is hungry or full, they will be sure to let you know. It can take some time, but you'll eventually figure out what all these indicators mean.

How Often Should I Feed My Newborn Baby?

Your newborn may want to feed frequently throughout the first week. During the first few days, it could be as often as every hour. Feed your baby as much as they want, as frequently as they want, for as long as they want. After a few days, they'll start to have fewer but longer feeds. During the first few weeks, your baby should be fed at least 8 to 12 times, if not more, every 24 hours.

Signs Your Baby Is Hungry

Overfeeding a breastfed baby is impossible. When your baby is hungry, they may do the following:

  • Become restless
  • Make murmuring sounds
  • Bring their fists to their mouth
  • Turn their head and open their mouth (rooting)
  • Suck on their hands or make smacking sounds with their lips.
  • Open and close their mouth

Many mothers believe that their baby’s crying is the only way to voice that they’re hungry but a hungry newborn will display more subtle indicators of hunger before crying. Keeping an eye out for and responding to your baby's hunger cues will help keep them from crying, as it can be more difficult to latch your baby while they’re crying.

Signs Your Baby Is Full

It's critical to let your newborn nurse until they're satisfied. The following are some signals that your baby has finished eating:

  • Your baby "falls off" or "releases" from your breast.
  • Your baby turns away from the nipple.
  • Your baby opens their fists and relaxes their body.

If your baby appears to be full after eating on one breast, burp them and change their diaper (if necessary), then offer the second breast. It's possible that your newborn is no longer hungry if they don't seem interested or refuse to latch. At each meal, some babies may feed from both sides, while during others they may only feed from one.

Feeding Positions To Help With Colic & Reflux

An upright feeding position for babies with reflux is one of the best ways to keep your baby more happy and comfortable. A baby’s undeveloped digestive system is what makes them prone to experience acid reflux symptoms. Here are some recommended  feeding positions for babies with reflux:

Australian Hold

  • Sit down on a bed or sofa
  • Place your baby on your lap, facing you, with their torso quite upright
  • Hold the back of your baby’s head with your palm fully opened whilst supporting their back with your forearm
  • If you are breastfeeding, bring your baby to the breast in a more upright position

Knees up

  • Sit comfortably in your bed, lay back, and put your knees up on the bed;
  • Sit your baby on your belly and let them rest with their back on your legs.

Cradle Hold

  • Sit down on a couch and support your back;
  • Sit your baby on your lap with their back resting on your forearm and keep them as upright as possible.

Sit Up

  • Wrap your fingers and thumb around the lower part of the back of your baby’s head whilst sitting them in your lap
  • Or sit your baby in a high chair making sure you adjust the harness to fit snugly

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