Baby’s hunger cues

How do I know that my baby is hungry?

Babies generally show a lot of signs to tell us they’re hungry. Crying is usually a late indicator of hunger and the baby should be reassured and calmed before starting to feed.

Some of the cues you should look for to see if your little one is hungry are:

  • Sucks her hand, sticking tongue out

  • Licking her lips

  • Moving and stretching her arms

  • Opening her mouth

  • Turning her head from side to side

  • Turning her head toward your head or chest (rooting)

Don’t wait until your baby cries before offering your breast. A crying baby has a harder time latching.


© State of Queensland (Queensland Health) 2012