I think one important thing to remember when you are in the thick of the fourth trimester, or parenting in general, is that crying is a form of communication for your little one. Your sweet little one just recently entered this big, huge world! Hunger is a brand new feeling too. While they were floating around happily in utero, they connected to their umbilical cord, getting a constant supply of nutrients. Can you imagine how strange and intense hunger feels for the first time and not having the words to communicate your needs? This is what all that crying is all about!
All of this is to say, that when baby is upset and hungry, it is their way of communicating with you what their needs are so that you can work as a team and meet those needs!
Learning what newborn hunger cues are and look like can help you prevent crying. This is because you can meet your baby’s need before they get too upset! I think it is really helpful to watch for the beginning newborn hunger cues right after they finish a nap.
I have outlined all of the newborn hunger cues below for you!
So what can you do if your baby does reach their late hunger cue stage? Take a breath, its okay! This happens and there is a way to calm baby back down so you can take care of their hungry tummy.
You can use part of the ‘Happiest Baby on the Block‘ ‘5 S’s’ to calm your baby back down to where they can latch to breastfeed or take a bottle.
First, put baby on their side or stomach. You can do this with baby in your arms or with baby laying against your chest. Then, sway back and forth and making the sushing sound to replicate the noise they became used to while in utero. Once baby has calmed back down, you can offer them the breast or bottle! I really advise not trying to shove a bottle or nipple into your baby’s mouth while they are crying. This doesn’t create a good latch for breastfeeding and can further upset your baby.
Take a deep breath, calm baby back down, and try to offer baby to breastfeed or their bottle.
Below is a video from the author of “Happiest Baby on the Block‘, Harvey Karp teaching how to calm a fussy baby!
Jenni Jenkins – Sekine is an Oklahoma City Bereavement, Birth, & Postpartum doula who serves her Central Oklahoma community. She is also a midwifery assistant with Holistic Birthing Services and planning to begin her student midwifery journey in 2022.
To learn more about Jenni, please click here.