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Knowing When Your Baby is Hungry

Why does your baby cry? It may be because he is simply hungry. In the early weeks it is perfectly normal for babies to be fed every two to three hours. So if your baby hasn’t been fed for nearly 4 hours then it’s just natural for him to cry and ask for it.

Babies regulate and digest the composition of your milk through sucking and by how often you feed him. Keep in mind that their feeding patterns will change as they grow and as they become more active. Needless to say, the more energetic they become, the larger quantity of milk they will be needing. In order to avoid cries for hunger, it is best if you learn to identify the different hunger signals of your baby such as squirming and rooting for your breast.

Is my baby hungry or thirsty?

Regardless if your baby is hungry or thirsty, he should be able to regulate the type of milk he needs. The composition of your milk changes as you feed your baby. The fore milk can be compared to a skim milk and this type of milk quenches your babies’ thirst. As breast feeding continues, the fat content in your milk increases until its composition resembles the composition of a whole milk. During this period, your baby will get satisfied when he sucks longer and when he gets the fatty milk in your breast.

Keep in mind that your baby needs to finish one side of your breast first. But if he gets satisfied with only one side, try expressing a little more to be comfortable. You may also want to play with him and wait for a nappy change before you give your other breast. By doing this, he’ll go longer before he cries for another feed.

Observe your baby

Don’t impose a strict feeding schedule but instead watch your baby and his hunger signals. As adults, we eat and drink according to when we need it and not on a predetermined schedule and so should your baby. Most babies in the early weeks will feed 8-10 times a day and possibly more if your baby is experiencing a growth spurt!

It is also important to remember that by following your baby’s lead and observing his hunger signals, your milk supply will catch up with the right amount of supply your baby needs.

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