While many parents wonder if their baby is eating enough during a single feeding, it is equally important to be able to identify when your baby is full to avoid overfeeding them. Most new babies will feed on demand and self-pace themselves as nature’s way of helping them to eat just until full by following their own hunger cues, which means overfeeding a baby is not all that common! Often for parents though, it is tempting to want your baby to finish their entire bottle or to nurse just a little longer during a feeding to be sure they are getting enough. Watching for cues from your little one however may show that their tummy is already full! Here are three clues to look for to be sure your baby is full after eating and to avoid overfeeding.
Whether being nursed or fed from a bottle, if your baby starts turning away from the food source or spitting out the nipple, they may be trying to tell you that they have had enough milk. Just as an infant will root and open their mouth when hungry, a baby that has been satisfied will close their mouth and even turn their head away.
This next clue is visible by paying attention to your baby’s hands! A tightly clenched fist may signify that your little one is hungry, especially if they are also crying or searching for their food with their head and mouth. Once the baby has been fed and is full however, their little hands will relax and open. You may even notice their overall body language is much more relaxed once their little appetite has been satisfied!
If your baby has eaten and begins to doze off, they are likely full and content! Unless otherwise instructed by your baby’s pediatrician, do not feel as if you need to wake them back up just to finish their bottle.
As you get to know your baby’s cues and their various cries, you will be able to decipher just what it is they are trying to tell you! Whether they are sleepy, hungry, full or need to be changed…you will be able to better pinpoint what it is that they need as you become more in tune with them. Also, your baby’s pediatrician will keep track of the baby's weight and length, which are both a wonderful indication of whether your child is getting enough nourishment. Rest assured that every baby is different and as long as they are healthy, they will thrive and grow at the rate that is right for them!
For more on feeding, visit the links below:How To Calculate The Amount of Formula Your Baby Needs
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