We all know that infants go through rapid growth cycles. Their growth rate is, in fact, faster than any other growth stage in life. For that reason, babies require sufficient nutrition to grow in a healthy manner. Babies are hungrier than the average individual and hence, feed way more.
If you are a parent, you must have noticed that. But do you sometimes feel like my baby is always hungry?
When parents feel that way, they usually note excessive hunger patterns. You will feel like your baby is feeding far more than they usually do.
A ‘hungry baby’ will have you thinking you are overfeeding them. A ‘hungry baby’ phase will feel like your baby is unsatiable.
This is where parents begin to worry.
Is there a recommended amount of food for babies?
Is it possible to overfeed my baby?
What can I do to keep my baby content?
These are common questions that parents begin to mull over.
ALSO READ: Breastfeeding vs Bottle Feeding
Table of Contents
- When Does ‘Hungry Baby’ Happen
- Hungry Baby – Actual Hunger or Not?
- Frequently Asked Hungry Baby Questions
- What To Do For An Insatiably Hungry Baby
When Does ‘Hungry Baby’ Happen
Parents will most likely notice bouts of insatiable hunger in their infants before three months. Some parents have observed this period lasting up to 5 months of age.
It would be safe to assume that ‘hungry baby’ can happen at any time during the first 12 months. The rapid growth spurt that infants go through during the first year can result in phases on insatiable hunger.
Hungry Baby – Actual Hunger or Not?
The first way to tackle the hungry baby phenomenon is to understand the difference between genuine hunger and the appearance of hunger.
Sometimes a healthy baby can begin exhibiting symptoms of severe hunger. This is especially tricky for parents because they can’t seem to understand the cause of this hunger.
What are some signs of hunger that you can look for? Well, that depends on how old your baby is.
Hunger cues for infants (0-6 months)
- Sticking hands in mouth
- Tilting their head toward the bottle or mother’s breast (also called rooting)
- Lip smacking, licking or puckering
- Excessive fidgeting
- Clenching hands into fists
- Making beckoning movements with hands
Hunger cues for babies (6-24 months)
- Reaching or pointing toward food
- Actively open their mouth when approached with food
- Visible excitement at the sight of food
- Hand motions towards the mouth
- Sounds of discontent and discomfort indicate hunger
Frequently Asked Hungry Baby Questions
When it comes to feeding your newborn, you might find this new territory difficult to maneuver. New parents have no idea how many feedings are sufficient or when to feed their baby. Here are the top 3 newborn feeding questions answered for you:
Is it normal for my baby to be constantly hungry?
It will take you a while to understand your baby’s hunger cues. You’re not alone if you feel like your baby wants to feed all the time.
Many new parents are shocked at how often their babies feed during the first few days. You can expect your baby to feed 10-12 times at the start.
Expect your baby to feed every 2 hours or so. This frequency is healthy and normal.
Is my baby hungry, or are they just crying?
You can distinguish between general crying and crying because of hunger in many ways. Your baby will give you plenty of hunger cues that you can read. Depending on their age, the hunger cues will vary.
The important thing to remember is to practice patience, kindness, and love. Usually, if your baby is hungry, they will begin displaying hunger cues first. Crying is actually the last stage.
Hungry babies start crying when hunger reaches an unbearable point. By then, it is much more challenging to get your bay to feed. They are agitated, upset, and annoyed now. Getting them to relax and latch on to feed is extra work.
Don’t wait until your baby starts crying. Try to pick up on their hunger cues early. Many parents think that this means they have to watch their baby 24/7.
But that’s not true. You only need to install Invidyo’s Baby Cam in your nursery. Now you can watch your baby’s every move right from your phone.
READ MORE: Top 3 Invidyo Baby Cam Features
How much feeding is enough?
Most new breastfeeding mothers feel like their baby is feeding too much to match their supply. But the interesting thing is that your body produces enough milk to match your baby’s hunger. In fact, frequent feedings coax your body into producing more milk.
Sometimes, you might notice your baby feeding way more frequently than they do on average. This usually happens around evening time (which is challenging because that’s your rest time, mama!). These periods of excessive feeding are called cluster feedings.
The best way to deal with cluster feedings is to get comfortable. Before you do anything else, just get yourself and your baby comfortable. Then make sure your baby is comfortable and close to you. If you are breastfeeding, remember to alternate between both breasts during feedings.
What To Do For An Insatiably Hungry Baby
There are four main things you can do to address insatiable hunger problems. You must look into feeding problems, sleeping issues, hunger assumptions, and sucking needs. Addressing these four matters will greatly ease the process of feeding and keeping your baby satisfied.
Common Feeding Problems To Watch Out For
- Improper latch
- Flow rate
- Supply issues
- Feeding positions
- Equipment (in case of bottle feeding)
Common Sleeping Problems To Watch Out For
- Irregular sleeping pattern
- Short naps during nighttime
- Long naps during day time
- Nearby sources of disturbance
A baby who doesn’t sleep well cannot feed well. You can always use Invidyo’s Smart Baby Cam to watch and track your baby’s sleeping patterns. This will help you understand your child’s sleep cycle better, and it will help you sleep better too.
Dealing With Hunger Assumptions
It is common for parents to chalk up every fussy incident to “my baby is hungry.” Don’t assume your child’s hunger. Your baby will use cues to indicate signs of hunger.
If you feel like your baby is hungry again too quickly, maybe consider other causes. Some common causes of appearing hungry can include:
- General discomfort
- Being overtired
- Needing to suck
Addressing Sucking Needs
Sometimes, babies just need to suck. This can happen anytime during the oral development stage between birth and 18 months of age.
A simple way to check if your baby is hungry or not is to give them a pacifier. If that does not do the trick, then your baby needs sustenance.
Understanding your baby’s cues and meeting their needs goes a long way in strengthening the bond between parent and child. Moreover, it also proves healthy in the long run. You will instill a feeling of being heard, understood, and seen within your infant. This will continue to improve and increase as your child grows.
Allow Invidyo to help you meet your hungry baby’s needs. With sleep tracking, cough & cry detection, smart alerts, two-way communication, and intuitive data analysis, it is every parent’s best friend.