Feeding Cues and Responding

Feeding cues


Your baby will show you when she wants to feed by:

  • Putting hands to mouth
  • Licking lips
  • Squeaking noises
  • Rooting (moving mouth and head as if looking for a feed)
  • Turning head
  • Mouthing Light fussing
  • Eye lids flickering whilst asleep

Keep your baby close to you in the first days and weeks after they are born. This will:

  • Help you get to know each other
  • Make feeding cues easy to see
  • Enable you to feed on demand
  • Help your baby feel safe and cared for

Your baby needs you to respond to their feeding cues. Waiting until they cry for food will make it more difficult to breastfeed them.  Whenever you feed your baby, hold them close and give them eye contact.

For successful breastfeeding, you need to feed your baby whenever they ask and for as long as they want at each feed. Remember – most babies don’t need anything other than breastmilk for about the first 6 months.

If you’re not breastfeeding, it’s still important to feed your baby whenever they ask, and remember this should be little and often. Giving large volumes of formula milk will stretch baby’s stomach and may cause vomiting.

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