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Feeding Cues

Your baby will let you know when he's hungry...just watch his amazing ability to communicate with you and show you when he's ready to breastfeed.

Early Feeding Cues

Be sure to watch for these early feeding cues:

• Licking, smacking, or sucking on his hands.

• Bringing his hands to his face.

• Making soft cooing sounds.

• Rooting (i.e., opening his mouth and turning toward your breast).

• Rapid eye moment (REM stage of sleep).

What About Crying?

Notice what you don't see on the list above...crying!

Crying is your baby's last effort to let you know he's hungry. Waiting until he's crying to try and breastfeed him is like waiting until you're so hungry that you could scream to start cooking dinner. Look for his earlier cues...it is much easier to nurse a calm baby.

There is also less of a chance someone mistakenly giving your baby a bottle of formula or a pacifier.

• Formula will interfere with your milk production; it will make your baby full and not hungry to breastfeed.

• A pacifier will hide the feeding cues and make it more difficult to tell when your baby is hungry.

Let Baby Lead!

Recipe for Laid Back Breastfeeding from Suzanne Colson:

  • Watch baby for feeding cues
  • Get semi-reclined
  • Support baby with your body
  • Allow baby security and stability with your touch and voice

Security brings out instinctive behaviors that allow baby to find the breast and latch.