Spotting Feeding Cues

As part of February’s theme of: Do I have enough milk? We are writing a series of mini blogs and articles to help breastfeeding mums navigate through their journey! Today’s topic: Spotting Feeding cues

Did you know? Crying is the LAST feeding cue a baby gives you when they are hungry!

We’re ingrained to think that a crying baby is an indicator that they are hungry and we should feed them but actually all babies show signs of hunger BEFORE they get to the distressed and crying stage. Parents and caregivers should watch out for a few early signs that baby is hungry so they can offer milk early! Here’s what to watch out for;

· Early cues such as baby stirring, their mouth opening, turning their head and ‘rooting’.


· Mid-cues to say ‘I’m really hungry’ including stretching, increasing physical movement, putting their hand to their mouth to suck.


· If you see late feeding cues of crying, agitated body movements and even turning red, it’s time to calm them by using skin to skin, gentle rocking movements and talking before offering your breasts. A distressed baby will probably find it hard to latch!

Knowing and spotting the early cues is great for when you are doing skin to skin – baby doing their rooting and turning their head is a great opportunity to latch your baby on.

Some great sources of information include the NCT and Kelly Mom which have diagrams to show the different feeding cues. 

If you have a question you’d like to ask, join us on our webchat service Monday to Friday 10 am – 1pm.

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