Early newborn feeding cues are key to successful breastfeeding. If you can master these early feeding cues in your new little one, your chances of success are so much higher. There are a few stages of early newborn feeding cues, each increasing until you may have to do more work to latch the baby onto your breast. Waiting to feed after your little nugget is screaming leads to nipple pain and frustration.
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Early Newborn Feeding Cues
A quiet alert state
This quiet alert state is a feeding cue in the newborn. They might be wiggling their head from side to side while opening and closing the mouth. The head will go from side to side. Newborn feeding cues are simple once you recognize them. Watch your baby and learn their behaviors.
If the baby is trying to suck on its hands, your hands, your cheek, and clothes. The baby is saying hey put that nipple into my mouth. This is a perfect time to achieve a good latch. Related Post: Does your baby have a Dairy Allergy?
Mouth Opening and Closing
Your newborn will begin to open and close their mouth rhythmically as they begin to feel hungry. This is a perfect time to get a good strong latch. Take advantage of their open mouth which is your signal, “Hey, I'm hungry but not hangry”
Mid-level to Hangry newborn feeding cues
Hand to mouth
The newborn does not have fantastic coordination, however, when you miss the above newborn feeding cues, their hand in the mouth is clear. If the newborn has their hand to the mouth, sit your bottom down and feed her. Related Read: The first feed after birth isn't always easy
Squirmy, wiggly, fast-breathing
Alright momma, don't wait any longer, because all hell is fixing to break loose. If your little guy is starting to get agitated (unless you just fed him, which warrants an investigation into the alternative cause) then it's time to get this party started. Breastfeeding at this stage is still possible but may lead to a more frantic feed.
Rooting on great-grandma Louise
Rooting is another medium level newborn feeding cue. If your little one is rooting on everyone who snuggles them, you need to take advantage of this feeding cue and feed.
Related Read: Breastfeeding Myth Buster
Hell is unleashed newborn feeding cues
Frantic & panicky
This is past, I can sit down and latch for breastfeeding quietly and easily. When your newborn exhibits frantic breastfeeding cues, you will need to calm her down first. If you do not, you will end up with an improper latch and a sore nipple. That purely stinks, so don't let your baby get to these feeding cues or everyone involved will have tears.
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Screaming their head off
Too late. Now, you've made way too much work for yourself. Go straight to jail. Again, Do not latch your baby when he is exhibiting these later newborn feeding cues. If you latch and begin breastfeeding while they are frantic or screaming, you will end up with extremely sore nipples and hate life.