Is your baby still hungry?
Although every baby is different, a good indication your baby is still hungry is if they cry for a feed more often and feed for longer when you do offer them their milk.
As your baby grows, so will their appetite which can make it difficult to keep up with a feeding routine for long. At around 6 weeks of age, many babies go through a growth spurt which can mean they are hungrier for up to a week. Being prepared for this growth spurt and subsequent increase in appetite means you can simply increase the frequency or amount you feed them, and allow the pattern to settle back after a few days.
Too early to wean
Because an increased appetite is one of the first signs a baby is ready to wean, many mums wonder whether their hungry baby is in fact ready for solids. However, weaning is not recommended until around 6 months, and definitely not before 17 weeks, because up until then, your baby's digestive system is too immature for anything more than breastmilk or infant formula.
Is it really hunger?
Some babies like to suck simply for comfort’s sake, even if they’re not hungry. Your baby is too young to differentiate between their need for food and their need for comfort. Once they learn that sucking relieves their need for food, they can confuse it and think that sucking will also relieve their need for comfort. Demanding milk may actually be a request for comfort or attention, so if your baby seems to want something and you don’t think they’re hungry, try a cuddle instead.
If you have any questions about when to start weaning, you can always call our expert feeding advisors on 0800 996 1000 or chat with them instantly, online, via Live Chat.