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How to tell if your baby is hungry

  • Your baby will give you cues when she is hungry:

    • 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.


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

  • 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."
    Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic
    First published: 02/01/2010
    Last reviewed: 01/01/2016