Feeding on Cue
Nursing is comforting to your baby; more than just obtaining food! Babies feed frequently be
cause they are growing a lot, their food is rapidly digested, and they need the closeness for comfort.
What is “feeding on cue”?
- Feeding on cue simply means feeding your baby whenever he shows feeding cues.
- Feeding cues are signs of hunger.
- Feeding cues are: mouthing movements, tongue protruding, rooting, hand to mouth movements, hand-sucking.
- Crying is a late hunger sign.
- Feed baby whenever he wants for as long as he wants.
What are the advantages of feeding on cue?
- Since sucking and emptying the breasts determines milk supply, feeding the baby as often and as long as he wants means you will make as much milk as he needs.
- Frequent feeding in the first couple of weeks builds up milk-making tissue in your breasts, assuring a good milk supply for months to come.
- Baby latches and feeds better when you catch his early feeding cues such as tongue movements and rooting. If you wait until he is crying, it may take more time to calm him before feeding.
- You bring comfort and pain relief to your baby when you feed on cue. Nursing is for comfort as well as food. Babies cannot be held “too much” or “spoiled.”
- Babies are used to constant closeness and feeding. Frequent feeding gives them that connection.
- Babies gain weight better.
- Babies have less jaundice.
- Mothers have less engorgement.
- Longer overall duration of breastfeeding.
Your baby prefers you. Avoiding pacifiers and bottles will help your baby breastfeed better.
- The sucking action on a pacifier or bottle is very different to how the baby latches the breast.
- When a baby sucks a pacifier or a bottle, the breast may not get enough stimulation to make lots of milk.
- Formula is more difficult for babies to digest.