Newborn babies need to be fed often. However, a gap of one to six hours between feeds is normal as most newborn tend to sleep for long hours. According to experts, if your baby has been asleep for more than 6 hours it is best to awake and feed at least every 3 hours.
A crying baby is usually a sign of hunger and feeding an upset baby can be quite a struggle. But your feeding session will be a calm experience if you can detect your baby’s hunger signs a bit early.
Early hunger indications
- They will lick their lips
- They will suck their hands, tongue, feet or clothes. Baby will latch on quickly if you feed on seeing this sign.
- They will begin to close and open their mouth.
- Rooting or turning head towards your breast. A newborn will spontaneously turn the head towards their feed and make sucking motions when you touch the cheek but after 4 months rooting becomes a willful action indicating hunger.
- They will bob their head.
- Agitatedly move their head.
Sometimes, they may even not show any of the above indications.
It is always best to keep an eye out for the signs of your baby’s hunger patterns and learn to satisfy their needs early to keep them calm and peaceful.
Constant feeding of a newborn
Newborn needs constant feeding in the early weeks which may keep you wondering whether it is really necessary. Once the breast milk fills their tiny stomach,it is easily digested and absorbed resulting in being hungry sooner. Therefore, if you think your baby seems hungry soon after a feed, it is necessary to feed again. Always remember that a baby’s hunger is unpredictable and they are just hungrier on some days than on other days and may need to be fed more than usual. These days are believed to pave the way for a faster growth or weight gain.
Expressing milk with a breast pump and storing for an emergency is a pretty good option for busy mothers. A baby can never go hungry when there’s an ample supply of milk stored even if the mother has to leave a baby with a caregiver.