Babies are born asking for milk, they just haven’t yet developed the language to spell it out.
Instead, baby hunger cues move through three stages; early, active and late.
- Smacking/licking the lips
- Sucking on hands or toys
- Opening and closing the mouth
- Squirming and fussing
- Laying back/getting into position for a feed
- Frantically moving head from side-to-side
- Turning red
When we tune into and respond to early cues, feeds typically feel more comfortable and less stressful.
For a baby showing late hunger cues, or who is already crying, try not to panic - it’s not always going to be possible to respond to the very earliest cues! Breathe out the stress and offer baby comfort and a feed as soon as you can - and serenity (or close to it!) will return.