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Hunger Cues

(8 Posts)
Clueless79 Sun 14-Aug-11 19:03:13

My 15wo bf ds has started doing a lot more exploration of himself and his surroundings and literally anything he can hold plus his hands goes in his mouth constantly.

I'm wondering if this is normal develolpment or if he's hungry? Straight after a feed - even when he's come off the breast looking satisfied - his hands will go straight in his mouth. He never refuses a feed and usually feeds every 2/3 hours during the day and will sleep for longer stretches up to 8 hours at night if we're very lucky.

So far I've just been using my instinct as to when to feed and usually get there before a cry. As I said, he always seems hungry for his feed but I'm starting to lose my confidence about whether I'm getting it right. DS is gaining weight well but we're still having some feeds where he's fussing a lot and seems desperate for more than he's getting. I'm also getting comments from 'helpful' family and friends about the frequency and length of feeds which seem ok from other threads on here?

I guess I'm just having (another) wobble so some objective advice would be lovely.

MigGril Sun 14-Aug-11 19:38:01

Sounds like your doing a great job.

Is the fussing in the evening? It's quit common for them to have fussy periods during the evening/afternoon and also for baby to still be cluster feeding at these time where they feed little and offten. It helps tank them up for a longer sleep seasion at night.

Clueless79 Sun 14-Aug-11 20:13:02

Oh the fussing is something we've been working on a few weeks now and can happen anytime - sometimes all day sometimes not at all. It's improving a bit though...I think.

What do you think about the hand/inanimate object eating? Is this a hungry boy or just development?

Thanks

MigGril Sun 14-Aug-11 21:42:06

Once they find there hands they can start just putting everthing in the mouth it is quit normal.

You could try feeding everytime he shoves something in his mouth, but it could also be the start of teathing which would explain the fussing to. You could try some teeathing gell or calpol to see if that make's a differences at all.

Some babies do just try and eat everything I've had one that did and one that didn't, they just like exploring things with there mouth I think.

VeronicaCake Sun 14-Aug-11 21:58:32

My DD wanted to suck everything from about that age. I think there is a difference between the hand-sucking they do to comfort themselves when they are hungry and the mouthing they do to explore objects. Given his age and the fact this seems new to you I'd guess he is doing the latter.

But he might also be hitting the 4m growth spurt a little early and that would explain the fussing too, in which case it can't hurt to offer slightly more frequent feeds in the day for a few days and see how he responds. We went through cycles of fussy feeding for about a week, calming down, 2-3 weeks of moderately predictable feeding, and then an increase in fussy feeding again all the way up to 1. And got 'helpful' comments about topping up with bottles and making her go longer between feeds so she is 'properly hungry' every sodding time. It was easier to ignore after 6m.

lilham Sun 14-Aug-11 22:35:16

My 20wo DD puts everything in her mouth, loves sucking her whole hand, and loves sucking her thumb to sleep. I wouldn't read that as him being hungry all the time. As long as he is gaining weight, have plenty of wet nappies he is doing ok.

As for hunger cues, I wish I can tell as well. I usually just offer the boob whenever she fusses, or if 3 hr has passed since last feed. You can't overfeed a bf baby so I'm not worried shes fed too much. I figure she wants some comfort sucking to help go to sleep or whatever, she's welcome to have some.

Clueless79 Mon 15-Aug-11 11:32:59

Thanks - I do certainly seem to be popping the boobs out left, right and centre in an attempt to get it right. This bf lark just seems to constantly present new challenges! But there are so many benefits and I really couldn't be faffed with sterilising etc apart from anything else!

I hope I get better at the ignoring, Veronica - if I get one more comment about trying to extend the time between feeds so he's really hungry I'm going to implode! Or comments like - see, he doesn't really want it - or poor boy, you're too full aren't you! As if I'm forcefeeding him for my benefit! Argh!

I'm wondering about the possibility of teeth/4month issues too as we've had a couple of awful nights waking every 2hrs ish that we haven't had since he was first born.

lilham Mon 15-Aug-11 12:07:57

Just imagine if you are ff and he's fussing. Do you offer a bottle? He might just take a couple of sips and leave the rest. Or if you use a dummy, maybe he's really hungry coz of growth spurt. Looking after a newborn is just hard.

BTW my DD will reject the breast when shes not hungry. She will take two sips, then unlatches and starts sucking her hand. Sometimes that starts my let down, and all I can do is quickly stuff a muslin on my boobs to stop milk jetting out lol.

Don't worry about other peoples comment.

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