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Thread: My pediatrician says handsucking means i should nurse

  1. #1
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    Default My pediatrician says handsucking means i should nurse

    Is this true? She says that if my baby starts sucking on his hand/fingers, i should be nursing. Anyone have any hand-sucking babies who arent hungry while sucking on their hand? Sorry i'm just a little frustrated with my pediatrician (specially bc she brags of having 6 kids and none were hand-sucking babies)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My pediatrician says handsucking means i should nurse

    Well, if your baby is having plenty of wet diapers and gaining weight fine, it doesn't matter what he/she sucks on as long as it doesn't interfere with breastfeeding and he/she is happy. My dd2 is a handsucker--but she also LOVES to nurse. She fusses when the hand isn't doing it anymore, and mostly falls asleep nursing.

    Erin
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: My pediatrician says handsucking means i should nurse

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joesmama View Post
    Is this true? She says that if my baby starts sucking on his hand/fingers, i should be nursing. Anyone have any hand-sucking babies who arent hungry while sucking on their hand? Sorry i'm just a little frustrated with my pediatrician (specially bc she brags of having 6 kids and none were hand-sucking babies)
    When a newborn sucks on their hands it is usually one of the first signs that they are hungry. Usually a newborn with start moving his head from side to side "looking" for the breast. Then they'll bring their hands to their mouth and make sucking sounds. At this age hand sucking is a reflex, not a habit. So yes, you should nurse at this sign. Usually you want to catch the baby when he first starts showing signs of hunger. Crying - which is actually the last sign of hunger takes a whole lot of energy for a newborn. And there are babies who will get so upset that by then it is more difficult to get them to latch properly.

    You'll learn your baby's cues as they grow and soon enough you will be the one who knows best when he needs or wants to nurse (other than him of course ).

    If the baby is nursing well or just nursed and still sucking on his hands, then it's fine. He won't want to nurse when you offer. But there's no harm in offering just to see.
    Amanda
    Formerly: baby-blue-eyes

    Canadian Mum to Naomi Born 03/17/08 and has a dairy allergy we are hoping she will outgrow. Nursed for 1 year
    And Gavin Born 01/13/10. 22 months, still nursing and already determined to find every possible way of giving me a heart attack with his dare devilishness

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My pediatrician says handsucking means i should nurse

    My 2 month old is a hand sucker. However, every time she starts, I offer the breast. If she takes it, fine, she was hungry. If she doesn't, she's just sucking for the fun of it.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: My pediatrician says handsucking means i should nurse

    For some babies, hand-sucking is a very reliable hunger cue. For others, not so much. You kind of have to learn to read your own individual baby. If your baby's hand-sucking always or at least usually escalates into more intense hunger cues like rooting and crying, then maybe you should be nursing when you notice him hand-sucking. If the hand-sucking doesn't escalate, then you probably shouldn't sweat it.

    Either way, it never hurts to offer the breast when you're in doubt.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My pediatrician says handsucking means i should nurse

    Wow, you are getting a lot of different answers here. I don't think it would hurt to offer the breast when you see the hand sucking. But, I do think babies have a need to suck even when they aren't "hungry" and that is okay to let them do that at the breast also, but some babies find their fingers, or thumb.


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Default Re: My pediatrician says handsucking means i should nurse

    At first when my baby sucked her hands she was hungry. Now she just likes to suck her hands. I tried to nurse everytime she sucked her hands as she got older but she was rarely hungry so now I watch for other cues. But I agree wit PP. With newborns it is often a sign of hunger
    Mother to the wonderful Teya - born June 21, 2010

    Wife to Pat Sept 13, 2008

    We are and at school

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