I can't tell if my baby is hungry.....

For discussion of issues that arise in the early days of breastfeeding
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Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:18 pm

I can't tell if my baby is hungry.....

Post by LaurenC » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:25 pm

hi there,

looking for some advice from fellow mums, my baby is 5 weeks old and i still can't tell when she is hungry, she seems to just be permanently hungry. She displays rooting behaviour all the time, loves her dummy. Whenever i hold her all she wants to do is feed, it has become a problem as i can't soothe her without having to feed her even when my breasts are empty. My husband can usually soothe her much better then i can, even when I genuinely think she is starving......

Anytime i offer her food, she takes it... indicating that she is hungry often.

I guess my question is, how can i tell when she is crying from hunger or crying for another reason. If my husband can settle her without feeding does that mean she isn't actually hungry?

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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:27 am

Re: I can't tell if my baby is hungry.....

Post by BarefootMama » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:00 am

Hi Lauren,

I guess it depends on a few things. When did she last feed and if you do offer her the breast does she drink as if she's hungry, or a more relaxed comfort suck? Young babies often can drink seemingly all the time and I've heard it said that you cannot over feed a breastfed baby. And rooting doesn't always mean they're hungry. Can also mean tired/gassy/sad etc. I've had people hand my baby back to me saying that he's looking for the boob but when I offer it he's not hungry.

It also depends on whether you are comfortable with using breastfeeding to settle. There is no right or wrong with this, just what you and your baby are comfortable with. I have done different things with each of my 3 kids. My first would drink until he was over flowing and throw it all up and cry then want more for comfort :roll: so I didn't use boob to settle (when he was young at least). Instead I would lie him in his cot and pat him to sleep. He would cry but if he was tired he would doze of reasonably quick. My second baby I mostly cuddled to sleep in my arms or wrap carrier as he wasn't overly boob obsessed. My 3rd bub who is 6 months now will fall asleep on the boob and stay asleep when I put him in bed. I just do whatever works.

It can take a little while to get to now them and their cries/cues and what they actually want. And I know what you're talking about when you say your husband can settle her when she would be unsettled with you. I think it's that she knows you have the boobs/can smell the milk, even if she isn't really that hungry the boob is such a huge comfort for them.

Anyway, I think just try a few different things, if she's had a decent feed recently try patting or rocking her to sleep, or try a wrap carrier (I have a hug a bub and love it especially for young babies) if you haven't already.

I hope this helps and good luck :)

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