Weaning Tips: How to Tell Your Baby is Still Hungry
As your baby grows, their appetite increases. You may notice this happening when you begin to wean them. An increasing appetite is actually one of the first signs that your baby is ready to wean. Since weaning comes at an older age, and during a time when your baby is growing quickly, an increase in appetite is normal and good. In fact in can work to your advantage and weaning success.
When babies notice that bottle milk does not “run out” as sometimes breast milk does, they may be fascinated and happier with it. Feeding a hungry baby formula milk is also easier on your end because you get to measure out the amounts you're feeding and making sure you are feeding your baby just right; not too little and not too much.
You know your baby's appetite is increasing when they cry after being fed, and begin feeding for longer periods at a time. They are also likely to be consuming more milk. Sometimes your baby's appetite increases to the point that it is difficult to keep the feeding schedule you have set up. Don't be upset. Simply give in to your baby's appetite, increasing the amount or number of times you feed them. They usually settle themselves back into your routine after a few days.
One way you can help your baby when they are extra hungry is keeping in mind the time of the usual growth spurts for babies. For example, many babies go through a growth spurt at six weeks old and are hungrier for up to a week before they settle back in to a more normal feeding schedule. However, you will have to continue to feed them more after the spurt.
When a growth spurt is occurring and your breasts are not producing enough milk, it may be time to wean your baby. Many moms try to wean straight to solids. Unless your baby is about six months old, this is a mistake. Remember, you should try to breastfeed till your baby is around six months old. Also, up till 17 weeks of age (remember that there are growth spurts that occur along the way), your baby's digestive system cannot handle anything other than breast milk or formula milk, so do not wean to solids.
Know how to recognize the signs of hunger. Sometimes babies show signs that they are hungry (sucking) even when they are not. Some babies suck for the sake of comfort, and they often cannot tell the difference between their need for food and their need for attention. They can often think that sucking will relieve their need for attention because it always relieves their need for food (not to mention they get attention while feeding.) If it's too soon for your baby to be eating again, try cuddling them and playing with them and see if that pacifies their request.