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Q&A: Is My Baby Hungry?

How can I tell if my baby is hungry?
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profile picture of Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist
Updated
February 28, 2017
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In general, a hungry baby will let you know. Watch for rooting (an open mouth that seems to be constantly searching for a breast), sucking (on fingers, on your shoulder, at the air), and fussing or crying.

Crying is considered a “late” sign of hunger, so ideally, you’ll learn baby’s earlier cues over time. But if she does start to wail and you aren’t positive it’s a “hunger cry,” use the process of elimination: If nothing seems to soothe her besides nursing, there’s a pretty good chance she needs to eat. (Yep, even if she just ate an hour ago.)

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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