One of the major concerns of any new mother, whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, is if her baby is well fed. Most mothers take time to settle into the new role and eventually chalk out a feeding routine. However, what you need to understand is that as newborns grow, their appetite might also increase within a span of a few days to a few weeks. With each baby having a different requirement, it doesn’t make sense to have a fixed feeding routine. No wonder then, after a certain point, most new mothers are completely at a loss when figuring out the best possible way to ensure their baby doesn’t remain hungry. We, at Urbabyblog, understand your situation. So, here are a few signs that might help you know when your baby might need more food:
1. Excessive Crying
The most obvious sign and also one of the most effective ways that babies communicate their need for food. So, if your baby starts crying minutes after you’ve just fed him/her and the diaper is dry, in all probability your baby needs more food.
2. No Weight Gain
Newborns are routinely checked for developmental milestones, especially during vaccinations. If you notice that your baby isn’t gaining much weight, then maybe you need to increase your your baby’s feed.
3. Fist Sucking
Just like how grown up kids or toddlers signal towards their mouths to indicate hunger, newborns do the same too. If you notice your baby sucking his/her tiny little fists, or smacking his/her lips loudly, then feed your baby as soon as possible.
4. Not Enough Wet Diapers
This is an important indicator. Almost all newborns will give 6-8 wet diapers and 2-3 soiled diapers in the weeks following the first five days. If the diaper count gets less, it might be an indication that your baby is feeding less.
5. Dark-Colored Urine
The color of the urine is another important indicator. If the urine is of a thick, dark yellow color, something similar to an apple juice, it is a sign that your baby is not getting enough milk or probably not feeding well. On the contrary, if it is pale yellow or clear liquid, it means your baby is well fed.
6. Engorged Nipples
As a breastfeeding mother, you might have ensured that you have a perfect latch. However, despite this, if your nipples become engorged after a good feeding session, it means that the baby is still hungry and was sucking hard to extract more milk. Consult your doctor or a lactation expert in this scenario.
7. Unusually Fussy Baby
Babies do fuss a bit, but also calm down soon. However, if your baby is unusually fussy and restless, especially after waking up, then he/she needs some feeding time, even if it is out of the schedule.
8. Smiling During Feeding
Most moms like to play a bit with their babies while feeding. But, if your baby starts smiling while feeding, it is just not out of playfulness. When babies smile or open their mouths while they are still feeding, it means they are satisfied with the feed and want some more.
9. No Sign Of Swallowing
A baby’s swallowing action is unmissable. In fact, some babies even make very clear, and adorable, swallowing sounds. But if your baby has his/her mouth on the bottle/breast for a long time without any sign or sound of swallowing, it means that the baby will remain hungry at the end of your scheduled feed time. Discuss with your doctor or lactation expert regarding how you can encourage your baby to swallow quickly in such situations.
10. Dry Mouth Or Eyes
Babies primarily depend on milk for hydration and nutrition. However, if they are under-fed, their mouths and eyes might appear dry, similar to signs of dehydration. In such cases, feed your baby immediately and consult your doctor if the condition does not improve.
Babies do not always cry when they are hungry. At times, even after a good feed, when their cheeks are stroked, they turn towards the breast or bottle. This action is called rooting. This means your baby’s appetite has increased and he/she wants to feed more.
12. Missing Feeding Time
If your baby continues to sleep for long hours during the day and night and consistently misses feeding time, then quite obviously your baby might remain hungry. Sometimes, babies even sleep because of weakness caused by hunger. Discuss with your pediatrician regarding the best way to feed your baby in this situation.
We hope these pointers have given you a better insight into finding out your baby’s feeding needs. However, when in doubt, it is prudent to consult your doctor without getting too anxious. Your doctor will be able to guide you better and things would soon fall in place.