Parents are often willing to do everything in their power to make sure their babies are okay. They do their best to make sure their babies grow healthy both physically and mentally. One of the most common ways they do this is by making sure their babies feed properly.
At times, it may be challenging to know when your baby is hungry. Babies usually cry when they are hungry. But remember that there are many reasons that could trigger crying in babies.
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Sometimes, babies cry simply because they want to see their mom. Therefore, it is good to observe your baby and identify the primary reason for their crying before taking action.
Signs that your baby is waking up from hunger
- Your baby can’t fall asleep: A hungry baby is a fussy baby. If you don’t feed your baby, they are likely to stay up for long hours during the night. However, be careful not to confuse a baby’s poor sleeping habits with their hunger.
- Poor eating habits during the day. If your baby is not feeding well during the day, there is a high probability that they will wake up due to hunger in the middle of the night. Therefore, always make sure you give your baby enough food during the day. If possible, add an extra meal in between their schedules.
- Your baby wakes up after every three to four hours: Generally, small babies need feedings after every three to four hours. So, when your baby wakes up after four hours, expect them to take a full feeding.
Your baby’s age – Are they waking up from hunger?
Generally, newborns need to feed often so that they grow strong and healthy. Newborn babies also have small stomachs; thus, you need to feed them constantly. Consequently, newborns are likely to feed every time they wake up in the middle of the night. However, before feeding them, observe them. Sometimes, your baby may just be turning, passing gas or dreaming.
Three to six months
When your baby is three to six months old, you need to feed them at least once in the middle of the night. As your baby grows, they will need fewer feedings.
So, a three-month-old baby may require two feedings in the middle of the night. This is because they have small stomachs that digest breast milk and formula faster. Thus, they tend to get hungry quickly.
Nonetheless, keep in mind that babies are different. Some may require fewer feedings in between the night. All in all, you should expect your baby to wake up for feedings in the middle of the night until they get to six months.
Six months and older
After your baby gets to six months, they no longer need to feed at night. This is because they have started eating solid foods that keep their stomach full throughout the night.
Needless to say, this depends on the health and preference of your baby. If your baby is underweight, you may need to feed them in the middle of the night.
Is your baby eating enough food?
When your baby is no longer waking up to feed at night, you need to ensure they get enough calories during the day. You can do this by adding them an extra meal during the day. Luckily, babies are highly adaptable to change.
It will be easy for them to adjust to having an extra meal during the day. However, it would be best to seek advice from your pediatrician before you make this diet change.
Is your baby falling asleep quickly when you feed them?
Does your baby fall asleep in between feedings? At times, your baby may start crying, and when you feed them, they sleep. This is a sign that your baby is feeding for comfort.
When your baby is hungry, they will eat until they are completely full. On the other hand, if your baby is not hungry, they will fall asleep faster when breastfeeding.
Why you should feed your baby every time they cry; 7 Reasons Explained
Babies cry for many reasons. Thus, you don’t need to feed your baby every time they cry. However, if you suspect that your baby is crying because they are hungry, feed them. Keep in mind that babies communicate through crying.
Occasionally, it can be challenging to identify exactly what your baby wants when they start crying. Below are some of the.
One of the most common reasons why babies cry is because of hunger. This usually happens for younger babies since there’s no better way to express themselves when hungry. Normally, your baby’s stomach is pretty small; therefore, it cannot hold a lot. Your baby will need regular feedings to stay full at all times. When feeding your baby, they may not stop crying immediately. But eventually, they’ll calm down.
Colic is a common health disorder in young babies. Colic causes severe crying in babies. If you notice that your baby doesn’t stop crying after you have tried everything to soothe them, it could be that they have colic. Colic causes a lot of belly pain. Thus, it causes your baby to clench their fists and stay in discomfort. Always take your baby to a professional pediatrician if you suspect they have colic. Colic is common in two-month-old babies.
- Need for attention
Another reason why your baby could be crying is that they want attention. Babies usually cry when they want their parents to cuddle or hold them. So, when your baby starts crying, hold them tightly and sway them for comfort. When you do this, your baby is likely to stop crying. Consider holding your baby with a sling and carrier to stay with them for extended periods. Babies love listening to your heartbeat and feeling your warmth.
- Unusual body temperature
Babies also cry when they are too hot or cold. If you suspect that your baby has temperature fluctuations, ensure you test their temperature using a thermometer. If the baby is cold, ensure you keep them warm. On the flip side, if they are feeling hot, ensure you don’t overdress them.
- Nappy changing
Most babies tend to cry if they have a soiled nappy. Some won’t cry until they feel some irritation on their skin. Also, when changing your baby’s nappy, you may notice that they get uncomfortable and start to cry. You can soothe them by distracting them with a toy.
- Having a health disorder
Babies also cry when they don’t feel well. Babies fall sick from time to time. Thus, if you notice they are crying uncontrollably and inconsolably, it could be because they are sick. If your baby’s cry is high-pitched and extended, take them to a medical professional.
When babies start growing teeth, they tend to get more upset and irritated. During this time, try using different techniques to soothe your baby. If you think that something else is wrong with your baby, seek professional help.
Vomiting, diarrhea, and fever above 38 degrees Celsius could indicate a serious underlying health problem.
The bottom line
Babies usually wake up in the middle of the night to feed. However, as they grow, babies tend to sleep longer. But how do you know that your baby is waking up from hunger? If you don’t feed your baby properly during the day, they are likely to wake up due to hunger in the middle of the night.
Crying is also a sign that your child is hungry. When your child wakes up from hunger, ensure you feed them appropriately. Doing this will enable them to go back to sleep soundly.