Is my baby crying because of hunger?
Hunger is the most common reason for a baby to cry. Babies usually give very clear signs when they are hungry and these become more obvious if the baby is not fed. Crying is a late hunger sign. It is best to feed a baby as soon as hunger signs start, because it is difficult to latch a crying baby. To prevent the baby crying from hunger, don’t try to feed on a schedule; feed when the baby seems hungry. If the baby is hungry and needs to be changed, mothers can feed the baby first with at least one breast and then change the diaper. Offer the second breast if the baby is still hungry. Caregivers should avoid pacifiers, which can reduce milk intake, and not force the baby to sleep through the night. Mothers who are not sure why their baby is crying, should offer the breast before trying other ways to settle the baby.
While normal babies cry for many reasons, the most common reason is hunger. Crying is a late hunger sign. If you are not sure why your baby is crying, a good first step is to calm the baby and try the breast. If the baby doesn’t latch and start breastfeeding, there is likely another problem.
If babies are not taking in enough milk, along with other signs, they may cry frequently.
To prevent crying from hunger:
- Feed the baby when he or she starts giving hunger signs.
- If the baby is both hungry and needs to be changed, delay changing the diaper at least until the baby has had one breast.
- Don’t schedule feeds; feed when the baby acts hungry.
- Generally avoid pacifiers, which can delay breastfeeding and prevent the baby from taking in enough milk.
- Offer the second breast if the baby is still hungry after the first side.
- Don’t force the baby to sleep through the night.
- Ensure the baby is breastfeeding effectively and taking in enough milk.