Breastfeeding a baby whenever they are ready for some milk makes for a great milk supply and a happy baby. Here are the most important feeding cues to look out for:
- Subtle feeding cues: eye movement, eyelids fluttering (if baby is sleeping), hand coming to face and mouth opening.
- The more obvious ones: rooting towards your chest, squeaking and whimpering – now is a great time to offer as baby should take the breast easily and comfortably.
- If hunger builds up further, most babies will get tense and start to cry – a crying baby is hard to latch on and needs to be consoled first to establish a good attachment and effective feed.
- Breastfeeding becomes easier if you are answering a gentle request. Or any time you like, even without any cues, rather than to a demanding and very hungry baby.
- Try not to wait until your breasts feel overfull as this could make it harder for very young babies to latch on and it slows down milk production.
- You can offer a feed when you feel like it, even when baby is not signalling any cues. Watch and learn from your baby and don’t restrict nursing sessions or implement a routine.
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