My baby is always hungry after feedings, and I cannot figure out why? This is a common concern all new parents have. Truth is growing newborns are always hungry and require frequent feedings in the beginning stages of life. Some newborns feed every hour while others feed every two to three. Newborns, in general, need about 8 to 12 feedings in 24 hours at about 2 ounces of milk per bottle.
With that said, if you have a preemie baby, they will only require about 15 ounces of milk per 24 hours. Preemies typically feed about an ounce of milk every 1 to 2 hours per day. This is because their tummies are still small, and their digestive system is still developing. Preemie babies, just like full-term babies, will still provide you with signs if hunger is still the issue. Here are 5 of those signs new parents can use to help determine if their little one is still hungry after feeding.
1. Licking Of The Lips
If you are wondering, why is my baby always hungry even after feeding? Always ask yourself if you are feeding your newborn the proper ounces needed during feeding. That can be difficult to know when breastfeeding, but if you take the little one off the breast and they are licking their lips, they are most likely still hungry.
If that is the case, make sure you are producing enough milk from the breast you just fed them on. If needed, switch the baby to the other breast for continued feeding if the other breast isn’t producing enough milk. Just remember to burp the little one before the switch properly. In most cases, babies will stop latching onto the breast when they aren’t hungry anymore. Some babies, however, will stay latched onto the breast even after feeding for soothing purposes, which is perfectly natural.
If you are bottle-feeding, make sure the little one is getting about 2 ounces per feeding. If you find they are licking their lips and fussing after that up their feeding amount to about a half-ounce of breast milk or formula.
2. Fussing After Feedings
If you are breastfeeding, but find your baby still isn’t satisfied after feeding, make sure you are getting the proper amount of nutrition. If Mamma isn’t eating well or staying hydrated properly, that means breast milk production isn’t working at optimal levels. So eat and drink up new Mamma so feeding times for your little ones can be satisfying to baby and yourself.
3. Sucking On Fingers and Toes
Another sign new parents can use to help them figure out if a little one is still hungry is sucking on their fingers. Some newborns will suck on their toes. If you find either one of these things happening, it is time to increase the amount of milk you are providing them by an ounce.
Another trick that seems to help is to give an ounce of milk every hour instead of doing two ounces every two to three hours. This strategy helps ease fussing and keeps a little one’s belly staying continually full. Some of you may know this strategy as cluster feedings. Sometimes cluster feeding occurs every half hour when a baby is growing and in need of more nourishing milk. If this occurs, your baby might take up to 3 ounces per feeding, which is perfectly okay.
Just again, make sure you break that feeding session up with some burping in between. Skipping the burping can lead to having a gassy and fussy baby. No new parents enjoy that. Some parents can sometimes confuse hunger cries with I am gassy cries. So, if you are asking, why is my baby always hungry after feeding? Maybe you are asking the wrong question. Perhaps you need to be asking the question of, “Is my baby just gassy and in need of burping instead of more milk?” If you burp your newborn and they stop fussing right after, then you know all that crying was because of gas bubbles hurting their tiny tummy and simply being full.
4. Gumming Their Clothing
Gumming of clothing is another for sure sign your baby is still hungry. If you find your little one is doing this, it’s time for another feeding. As your baby grows, keep in mind the ounces they need will go up. Here is a simple guide to help you determine how many ounces to provide to your little one as they are growing,
- Newborns will eat about 2 to 3 ounces per feeding every 2 to 3 hours
- Two months you will find your baby will desire about 4 to 5 ounces every 3 to 4 hours
- Four months your baby will want about 4 to 6 ounces every 4 to 5 hours
- Six months your baby will eat about 6 to 8 ounces every 6 to 8 hours
If your baby has reached six months of age and is fussing a lot, it might be time to introduce them to some solid baby foods as long as your pediatrician gives the okay. Solid baby foods such as pureed foods and baby cereal do wonders for filling that tiny tummy up and keeping it fuller longer. You may notice when you do this that your baby naps longer and fusses way less.
5. Moving Their Head Side to Side
Suppose your baby tends to throw up a lot after feeding and moves their head side to side looking for a nipple shortly after it is because they are once again hungry. To help make sure the breast milk or formula stays in their tummy, do an ounce of milk every 30 minutes or every hour and see if that reduces the fussing and spit-up.