What to do if my baby is always hungry
Why is your baby so hungry?
Babies double their weight within the first six months. It is easy to understand when they have a correspondingly large appetite. Your baby’s hunger is a basic need and should always be satisfied immediately. Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed your child is of secondary importance.
Infants have small stomachs. At first it is just the size of a hazelnut. Breastfeeding smaller amounts more frequently is therefore more comfortable for the baby’s small stomach. In addition, your baby will absorb breast milk very quickly. Therefore, the feeling of satiety only lasts for a short time. After breastfeeding, the offspring will be full for about an hour. Afterwards, your child will often be hungry again. This is normal and will go away over time as the stomach gets bigger and your baby can drink larger amounts at once.
Your baby won’t let you sleep at night?
If you are breastfeeding your child and they constantly ask for milk at night, that’s completely normal. Usually it is the so-called clustering. This means that your baby will order more milk and keep reporting hunger in a short period of time. Most infants eat most of their food at night. Short nights are therefore quite normal in the first phase of his life, while the baby is being breastfed. But don’t worry: as soon as milk production has leveled off, the intervals at which it wants to drink usually also increase. In the beginning you should try – especially as a nursing mother – to sleep during the day to compensate.
Your baby doesn’t want to drink just to satisfy hunger
The little ones’ need to suckle is not always just a sign of irrepressible hunger. Sucking also satisfies the baby’s natural need for closeness, trust and security. There are also very practical reasons for sucking when breastfeeding. It stimulates milk production, which has to level off in the first few weeks.
Why is your baby crying
Sometimes it is difficult to tell why the baby is crying – yes, maybe most of the day. Is it really hungry, is it tired, stressed, overwrought, is it pain or a full diaper? Possible troublemakers can also be the wrong temperature when sleeping or simply the need for attention and closeness to mother and father. We’ll give you a few tips on how to recognize why your baby is dissatisfied and unable to rest. Over time, as parents, you will automatically learn to correctly interpret the different types of screams.
If the baby whines a little and then starts screaming, it is likely that the baby is hungry and wants to drink. Usually the body of the little one is rather tense when hungry and then relaxes again when breastfeeding. To make sure the child is really hungry, we recommend checking for the following signs:
- Make a note of the last time you fed the baby. Infants are usually hungry every one and a half to four hours. If this time has already passed, your offspring is right to ask for the next meal.
- Put a finger to your child’s mouth. If it starts sucking on it vigorously, it is already very hungry.
- Run your finger on your baby’s cheek. When it turns its head to one side and opens its mouth, it is time to breastfeed or feed.
If your baby is cranky and rubs his eyes or ears, it seems tired. When you feel tired, your baby tends to be weak. It may even close its eyes or start sucking its own hands to calm down. It is quite normal for babies to get tired again after an hour and a half to two hours. You should then calm them down and lull them to sleep. If you continue to keep the baby awake, there is a chance that the baby will become overwrought and ill-tempered.
If your baby turns his head away while playing together, he or she doesn’t want to be kept busy. Then everything is too much for him and he doesn’t want to hear or see anything anymore. The baby often makes the overstimulation clear by high-pitched, violent screaming.
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If your baby is crying suddenly and violently, it may be in pain right now. Sometimes the source of the pain is obvious to the parents and can be quickly eliminated: for example, if the offspring bumped each other. However, some pains are not that easy to fix.
Crying violently can also indicate abdominal pain and gas. To find out, feel your baby’s tummy once. If it is plump and bloated, gentle massages or anti-inflating agents from the pharmacy can help relieve the colic. If your baby cries a lot over a long period of time for no apparent reason, it is advisable to ask a doctor about the cause.
If your baby is neither hungry nor tired and is still dissatisfied and nagged, a full diaper could be the reason. This can sometimes be felt by the weight of the diaper. In general, you should check the diaper regularly, because not every child complains about a wet bottom. The permanent moisture can irritate sensitive baby skin and make it sore.
Parents mean it well if they wrap their child up thickly so that it just doesn’t freeze. The offspring can get too warm. If it is too hot or cold, the baby will start crying. You can check the body temperature of babies particularly well in the neck. If the neck is sweaty, you should dress your baby more airily. If the baby is cold to the touch, you should dress the baby in warmer clothes. A warm cherry stone pillow can also help in this case. When heating the room air, you should make sure that the heating air can become very dry. If necessary, you should compensate for this with a humidifier.
Attention and closeness
Your child nags and screams for no apparent reason: The diaper is clean, the little one is full and doesn’t want to drink milk, and they have had a good rest too. Then only one thing is needed: your closeness and attention. As soon as you pick up your offspring and deal with them, the bad mood is mostly forgotten. Your child is probably looking at you expectantly now – the best time to play with your baby.
Are you constantly breastfeeding and your baby still hungry?
If you are constantly breastfeeding your baby and still not gaining weight well, use this as an opportunity to seek advice from someone who knows how to breastfeed effectively. This can be, for example, breastfeeding advice. Often, a few adjustments to breastfeeding are all it takes to ensure smooth feeding and faster weight gain for the baby.
Discover more articles in our categories Baby & Family et encore Maternity.
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