Whether you’re an experienced parent or this is your first go at it, parenthood can be rough to navigate. Figuring out what your baby needs can be hard to decipher, especially when it comes to hunger and satiety. The last thing you want to do is to keep your baby hungry, but between sleep regressions, growth spurts, and digestion issues, it can be difficult to tell if they’re getting enough nutrition. If you are confused about adding more to their diet, check out these signs that your baby needs to eat more often.
When you become a parent, you quickly learn that your baby’s needs keep changing and your routines need to change with them. Dr. Gary Kramer, M.D., a Miami-based pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics tells Romper that for the first year, babies will have growth spurts and intermittently increase their frequency of feeding, accompanied by behaviors like fussiness, frequent waking, and increased hunger.
So it’s completely normal to periodically up the amount you feed your baby, because the more they grow, the more food they’ll need. But if you feel like your baby is extra fussy or always hungry, make sure to reach out to your pediatrician for any concerns. In the meantime, here are a few signs that may indicate your baby needs more to eat.
1. They’re Going Through A Growth Spurt
When your baby is going through a growth spurt, they may suddenly seem hungrier and fussier than usual. If you’re breastfeeding, they may want to nurse constantly, and if you are formula feeding, they might still be hungry after finishing a bottle.
Kramer says that most commonly, growth spurts in babies can occur between the first and third week, at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months. So if your baby is hitting one of these markers, it may be time to increase their feedings.
2. They’re Not Gaining Weight
When you take your baby to the pediatrician, make note of their weight so you can keep an eye on how much they are gaining. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) noted your baby should double their birth weight by the fifth month, and triple their birth weight by age 1.
If your baby does not seem to be gaining much weight, the APA suggested feeding your baby more frequently, even if it means waking them up for a feeding. Definitely voice these concerns with your pediatrician as well so that they can evaluate your baby properly and set you up with appropriate feeding guidelines.
3. Not Enough Dirty Diapers
Less dirty diapers may seem like a good thing, but it could actually be a sign that your baby isn’t getting enough food. While the exact number of dirty diapers depends on whether your baby is breastfed or formula fed, the APA noted that by their first week, newborns should have five to six wet diapers a day. If you notice a decrease in dirty diapers, it may mean you need to add some more milk to your baby’s diet.
4. They’re Fussy After Eating
If you’ve just finished feeding your baby, but they are still fussy afterwards, it may mean that they need more to eat. Kids Health explained that when your baby is unsatisfied with their meal, they may get fussy and continue to give you hunger cues like sucking on their hands or fingers or nuzzling up against your breast. If this is the case, you may want to try giving them some more milk, or adding an extra feeding to their daily routine.
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