Hand sucking

Why are my baby’s hands always in her mouth?

Babies like to suck their hands and sometimes do it happily. If they are showing no hunger signs, trying to breastfeed them may make them angry. Other times, they do it because they are hungry. If they are sucking their hands and also seem agitated, unhappy, or angry, and are grunting, panting, or scowling, they are probably hungry and need to be offered the breast.

A) Hand sucking

Babies like to suck their hands and even their toes. This is normal. Sometimes, however, they suck their hands because they are getting hungry. This can be confusing.

B) Happy hand sucking

This baby is happily sucking her hand.

Happy hand sucking is when babies happily suck their hands and show no hunger signs. Trying to make them breastfeed at this point only makes them angry.

C) Hungry hand sucking

Babies may suck their hands when they start getting hungry. They soon become frustrated with just sucking on their hands and start giving other hunger signs. A hand-sucking baby is probably hungry if the baby is also:

  • Showing hunger signs.
  • Agitated.
  • Unhappy or angry.
  • Grunting or panting.
  • Scowling.