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3 month old sucking hands: hungry or just new toy?

(13 Posts)
Iwasthefourthwiseman Sat 18-Dec-10 19:52:40

DD2 is 12 weeks and has just discovered her hands which she is sucking judiciously. How do I differentiate between hunger and just comfort suck of hands. If I put her to the breast she will probably feed as I have never known her to refuse, but it still may not be an indicator of hunger. How can you tell?

Dozeyland Sat 18-Dec-10 19:53:53

My 7 week old is doing this too! i think she has just found her hands properly! sometimes hunger but only if she;s routing too i think!! well thats my experience!

NineLadiesDancingThroughLife Sat 18-Dec-10 19:57:48

DD never used to suck her hands as a hunger sign, so I knew that when she found hers, she was indeed sucking them on purpose. And she never refuses a feed either, milk monster that she is!

If she's sucking alongside other hunger signs, I'd offer a feed. If not, let her play smile

burps Sat 18-Dec-10 20:00:36

Christ, my DD is 13 weeks old and over the past couple of weeks she has been sucking her hands a lot. I put her down for a nap the other day and thought I would have a wee snooze too, but had to leave the room after 10 minutes of listening to her sounding like she was trying to swallow her fist. Will probably be her party trick when she is older.

ginger2000 Sat 18-Dec-10 20:30:07

same here! DD2 is nearly 12 weeks and is shoving thumbs, fingers and whole fists (sometimes 2) in her mouth. I started off thinking it was hunger but I',m not convinced it is - no idea how to tell the difference! Just wish she would 'get' how to suck the thumb to comfort/self settle as it might mean she needs less feeding at night!!

MissAnthropy Sat 18-Dec-10 20:32:11

Generally if dd was content to suck her hand it was just that she wanted. If she wanted actual milk she'd be content for no more than a minute and start protesting.

moonstorm Sat 18-Dec-10 20:33:52

I think last time I decided:

Sucking fingers/ fist/ thumb and settling = ok

Sucking fingers/ fist/ thumb and getting increasingly upset/ annoyed = hungry

But I could only let it go on so long before feeding anyway, though

cardamomginger Sat 18-Dec-10 21:16:56

dd has 2 different types of hand sucking. the "hungty" one is more intense, she seems to be really concentrating on it and it's much louder and wetter. with the "comfort" tends to be slower, less intense, quieter, and she's often looking at something else at the same time, or just gazing around her. i really wish she wouldn't do it though - she has eczema and this makes it worse and means i can't put her cream on her hands. tried offering a dummy, but she'll only take one when she's in the pram or the car seat.

moonstorm Sun 19-Dec-10 18:19:18

Have you tried putting Lansinoh on her hands? I did this when ds1's thumb got really sore. Figured if newborns could digest it, it would be ok. Created a great barrier and let his thumb heal.

beanlet Sun 19-Dec-10 18:22:05

sucking hands = sucking hands
sucking hands + crying = hungry

anyone else find that Lansinoh is the most awesome lip salve ever?

mears Sun 19-Dec-10 18:28:01

Babies of this age feel with their mouths. Sucking hands/toys alone is not a sign of hunger. It is a baby exploring his/her world.

mears Sun 19-Dec-10 18:29:14

However nothing wrong with offering the breast. Breastfeeding is a communication with mum and comfort, as well as a source of food. You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby.

Veriver Fri 24-Feb-17 14:29:25

Mine has been sucking her fist since her 3 months. I offered the breast no matter what and she would cry furiously to refuse it if she isn't hungry. Now she even cry offered the breast when hungry. So be careful to distiguish hunger vs play to avoid getting your little one developing a feeding aversion like mine, hard to fix sad

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