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Signs of Hunger?

(25 Posts)
littlemisssplendid Sun 13-Jul-08 19:43:10

Okay, until recently I knew that when dd (11 wks)sucked her hands then she was hungry. However, she has recently discovered her hands and is constantly sucking them (whole fist in).

Anyway, I'm trying to feed approx every 3 hours but MIL kept telling me she was hungry this afternoon as she was sucking her hands (she wasn't she was tired - I had just finished feeding her 10 mins before). Made me feel lime a bad mother for not feeding on demand any more. I've stopped this as I was feeding every time she sucked her hands or cried (I now realise that she wasn't necessarily hingry)and had a constant snacker and comfort sucker.

Anyway, apart from loud crying (which could be beacuse she is tired) what other signs of hunger should I be looking for?

deaconblue Sun 13-Jul-08 20:17:27

Are you bf? If dd is hungry she roots when I stroke her cheek.
I have never really fed on demand as such. DD is 11 weeks on Wednesday and I feed her every 3 - 3 1/2 hours during the day. She seems content and is very porky so is clearly well fed.

lulumama Sun 13-Jul-08 20:20:21

i would forget trying to feed approx every 3 hours, feed her when she is hungry.

why are you not feeding on demand any more? especiall if you are breastfeeding, teh closeness ans sucking is comforting and there is nothign wrong with that

crying, rooting , head going side to side and sucking anything that goes near their mouth is usually a good sign they are hungry.. as is not being comforted or soothed by anything other than a feed

youy cannot do any harm or spoil a baby by feeding them as much as they want

DS would nuzzle and root against me. I used to feed him whenever though. Mostly if I felt like a cuppa and a sit down grin

The only useful thing in the baby whisperer's ramblings is that a short rhythmic cry is usually hunger. But I wouldn't advise waiting until that stage.

Don't worry, soon thay get better at making their wants clear to you. DS now tries to latch himself on through my clothing, resulting in large, attractive wet patches. He's 1

littlemisssplendid Mon 14-Jul-08 12:21:24

I stopped feeding on demand (only sort of - I'm just trying to get a bit of a routine but would still feed her if she seemed hungry) as she was acting like she was hungry and having 5 mins here and 5 mins there. She was then only having short catnaps and waking up hungry again. I felt like she wasn't sleeping or eating enough!

Going approx 3 hours means she feeds for at least half an hour and then has a good sleep. She seems much more content and less grouchy now. Still worried I'm not doing it right though - but I guess that's motherhood for you.

littlemisssplendid Mon 14-Jul-08 12:22:06

Sorry, yes I am bfing

seeker Mon 14-Jul-08 12:26:08

I think she's too little for you not to be feeding her on demand - that's how breast feeding works. She will herself naturally extend the time between feeds as she gets older.

I think that with a breast fed baby you should always try feeding first - if that doesn't work, try something else! But assume hunger until proved otherwise!

VictorianSqualor Mon 14-Jul-08 12:44:06

If you put your breast in their mouth and they take it, they want feeding, basically.

With DS he looks like a sparrow, rooting around with an open mouth whenever he is hungry but like seeker says, if they start to moan, try offering the breastm then eliminate everything else.
DS2 is 13 weeks and still fed whenever he wants it, I have no clue as to when he will next need feeding because it varies, just like it does with me! Sometimes I'm hungry half hour after eating, others I'm not hungry for hours.

littlemisssplendid Mon 14-Jul-08 13:58:03

Well she seems to be demanding anywhere between two and a half and three and a half hours so does this mean I'm feeding on demand or following a three hour (ish)schedule? Aaaargh there is too much advice

VictorianSqualor Mon 14-Jul-08 14:04:43

If you're looking at the clock saying 'it's not feeding time yet' it's scheduled.
If you're looking at the clock saying 'surely you're not hungry already? then offering the breast' it's on demand.
If you're not looking at the clock you've already had a bout 50 children and are too busy to check the timegrin

slim22 Mon 14-Jul-08 14:08:14

don't forget she might also just be thirsty rather than hungry, especially in hot weather....

elmoandella Mon 14-Jul-08 14:10:31

ds used to feed every 2.5 hours.

when he cried used to check nappy first. then offer bf.

some babies are just hungry.and cant go long.

elmoandella Mon 14-Jul-08 14:11:17

yeah slim, so the baby would be looking for a wee quick latch of the watery foremilk

tori32 Mon 14-Jul-08 14:24:03

My little one is 14wks and still does the head bobbing with mouth open if I put her up on my shoulder iyswim. smile Like you, my dd2 sucks her hands all the time but it isn't hunger.

tori32 Mon 14-Jul-08 14:26:08

See VS that is where we differ smile I check everything else first and then offer the breast. smile

VictorianSqualor Mon 14-Jul-08 14:30:17

The only thing I check before hunger is the nappy, because DS2 is really sensitive about his bum he hates his nappy being even the tiniest bit wet, but it's a different cry when it's his nappy.

tori32 Mon 14-Jul-08 15:15:23

Yes, I agree. I can usually tell by the cry. LOL at myself because at the mo I just feed her if she cries during her afternoon nap because its always hunger and if I don't she wakes dd1 from her nap smile If she just grumps after about 1-2hrs after a feed I check everything else first. With dd1 I got caught in the feed at every cry and ended up with her puking constantly because she did feed whenever it was offered when she didn't really need it. Some babies don't have limits grin

Mummyfor3 Mon 14-Jul-08 15:32:58

My DS 16 weeks has also discovered his hands and has them non-stop in his mouth, but sucks them frantically when hungry. Having said that he still feed every 2-3 hours during the day and unfortunately needs me as a dummy at night...

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 14-Jul-08 15:43:58

Message withdrawn

seeker Mon 14-Jul-08 16:12:28

What's wrong with offering the breast for comfort?

une Mon 14-Jul-08 16:52:11

If she turns to your finger when you touch her cheek or start searching when you hold her against your chest you can be shure she is hungry. We started calling our babe woodpecker at one point.

littlemisssplendid Mon 14-Jul-08 19:17:53

Cheers, just going to go with the flow. She went two and a half hours this afternoon and was blatantly starving so I thought sod the 3 hour routine but then she went 3 and a half next time to coincidently fit in with 7pmish bath/feed/bed. I guess she knows what she wants.

I just couldn't go on feeding her every time she put her hand in her mouth and have had to look for other clues. Guess I'll feed on demand and hope it continues to fall betweeen 2 and a half and three and a half hours.

Oh, I still can't quite work out the subtle differences between cries - maybe by the time she's a teenager!!

tori32 Tue 15-Jul-08 13:14:01

This also sounds ridiculous but when my LO is crying I look her in the face and say 'are you hungry?' When she is she throws her head back and goes 'aer' in a low sound ? immitating me because I say yeah, but she usually is iyswim.
PS I'm not suggesting she talks grin. Just a sound that appears to mean it is what she wants. She does it if I say 'do you want to play?', 'would you like your tea?' etc But may well do it if I said 'would you like a pink elephant!' grin

une Tue 15-Jul-08 13:47:33

It also seems to me that as they get a little older, and sleep less, they tend to eat more frekvent when they are awaik.
My 4 month old can easily sleep for four hours and then wait another 30 minutes before she is hungry. And can also eat every two hours if she stays awaik for so long.

LookingForwardToSummer Tue 15-Jul-08 14:15:31

No advice. just wanted to say that your dd sounds like mine was - a bit cry-y generally and happy to snack all the time. I found that if she fed whenever she wanted she never really had very much and mentally I couldn't deal with demand feeding - I need to be able to plan the day!. I gradually got her in a 'flexible routine' and now (20 weeks) she feeds about every three hours, it all became much easier at about 14 wks iirc..

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