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How to tell if your baby is hungry

Your baby will give you cues when she is hungry:


You don't have to worry about overfeeding your baby. Your baby regulates the amount she takes in at each feeding.

  • squirms or has rapid eye movement while the eyes are closed
  • roots or turns her head when her cheek is stroked
  • opens her mouth and searches
  • smacks her lips
  • makes sucking movements
  • puts her hand in her mouth
  • cries (the last cue)

Having your baby stay in your room will make it easier to watch for the following feeding cues.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic