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10:59 AM

What Are My Baby’s Hunger Cues?

You may be surprised at what the last cue actually is

Babies give hunger cues when they are ready to eat.

Though most people think that a crying baby is ready to eat, crying is actually the last cue and a crying baby is more difficult to latch.

Earlier indicators may include:

  • Wiggling around
  • Smacking or licking their lips
  • Bringing their hands towards their mouth
  • Rapid eye movement
  • “Rooting”

Before your baby can speak words, this is the first way our children communicate that they are hungry.

If your baby becomes completely overwhelmed, upset, and inconsolable before the subtle cues listed above, it is best to take a moment and calm your little one before beginning to feed.

Recognizing and responding to the early hunger cues jumpstarts good communication between you and your child as well as decreases the anxiety that can be caused between you both when emotions are at high.

Get to know Holly Erwin, Cook Children's Virtual Lactation Consultant

Holly Erwin, LVN, IBCLC, is a mom of three boys and has worked as a pediatric nurse for over 11 years within the Cook Children's Health Care System. When not working, she spends her time running to and from sports for her boys, being outside with her family and dreaming of traveling with her husband of 10 years. For now, she settles for their bi-annual date-night!

Through her own children and the thousands of moms that she has helped over the years, Holly found a special interest in infants and breastfeeding. In 2015, she became internationally board certified as a lactation consultant and now works as an IBCLC virtually through the Cook Children's telemedicine department. Schedule an appointment with our virtual lactation consultant.

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