Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    119

    Question Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    My LO is 11 weeks old, and I've been struggling with low supply since day one. I have finally felt like I could skip the supplementation for the last 2 days, as DS has had several wet diapers each day (but still waiting for a poopy diaper since I stopped the formula). When I was supplementing him, the purpose of his nursing didn't matter as much because I wasn't worried about him going hungry. But now that I am not supplementing him, I'm concerned that he's still hungry. DS is sucking his hands and fingers a LOT, especially in the early afternoon through the evening. Occasionally this escalates to crying, but I try to pick him up before that. He'll suck his hands and fingers even right after I've fed him, which is why I'm concerned. Could this be anything besides a hunger cue? Or is my LO just still hungry?
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    BTW we have been doing weekly weight checks and have another scheduled for tomorrow.
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    I don't think it always means hunger... at least, I hope not! DD started doing the hand/finger sucking about a week ago (8 wks). It seems like she just figured out, "HEY these are part of my body and sucking on them is kinda fun." I feel like it's starting to taper off as she's discovering other things. So it could just be a developmental thing not related to hunger.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,576

    Default Re: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    I don't think it is *always* a sign of hunger, except I would offer the breast first to be sure that he isn't wanting to nurse. The fact that you say he does this more in the afternoon and evening makes sense because that is often the time of day that newborns will cluster feed, so to me that would indicate that it IS his hunger cue. I say, during this time of day, just nurse nurse nurse. This phase may seem long, but does not last forever, and will only help to keep your supply where it should be. If he does not want to nurse and then goes to suck on his hands, then he could just be wanting to suck. I know it's hard not to worry that he is getting enough. I can't say I never worried about my girls, because I did, but I would encourage you to trust your body and trust your baby, nurse on demand, make sure you are drinking enough, and watch diaper output. That's really all you can do.


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    Thanks for the replies! I am happy to nurse DS as much as he wants. The only time I'll take him off the breast is when he starts fussing and crying (other than when he comes off peacefully on his own). I am pretty sure he's fussing at the breast because of the slow flow (due to low supply), but I always hope that maybe he's fussing because he needs a change of scenery. But it's at that point that he'll start sucking on his fingers again. So I repeat the process until he passes out or gets distracted. I've been doing this for so long (11 straight weeks) that I was hoping he might not actually be hungry when he sucks his fingers, but I think you're right... he's probably still hungry, and I'm probably not satisfying him at the breast when he does this. Putting him back on doesn't work too well after he's just drained my breasts. Hard to not get discouraged. Will this ever get better??
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    When they start fussing at the breast after they've been nursing a bit, it could be gas. So try a burp. If they've started finger / hand sucking, I found with both my girls that they had more gas.

    Finger / hand sucking can mean hunger, it can also just be about discovery. If they're quietly sucking their fingers / hands and they seem relaxed, it's probably just discovery. If it gets more animated, they make loud sucking sounds or if they seem really intense about it, it's probably hunger. In all cases, it's easiest to just offer the breast and see if they want it or not.
    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!!
    and

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,576

    Default Re: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aidansmama View Post
    Putting him back on doesn't work too well after he's just drained my breasts. Hard to not get discouraged. Will this ever get better??
    Remember, it's supply and demand and your breasts never actually empty Bringing him to breast more will only help your supply because the baby will be signalling your body to make more milk. Don't doubt yourself!

    How is diaper output?


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    Two weeks ago he's gained NOTHING in the previous week, but 1 week ago he'd only gained 4 ounces. (Because he'd gained, I felt inspired to cut out his supplement altogether.) I'd been supplementing him 4 - 5 ounces per day in the evenings for the last couple weeks (sometimes less), and during that time he'd have 5 - 6 wets and 1 big poopy diaper every 3 days routinely. However, I have NOT supplemented him in the last 48 hours, but yesterday he had 6 wets, and today he's on track with wets again, but no poopy diapers so far. He's a very active, smiling happy boy (when he's not hungry). I just so badly want to worry-free EBF that maybe I'm a little paranoid about his hunger issues now that I'm not supplementing him??
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    BTW, thanks for the responses.... comforting!
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Hand-sucking always = hunger?

    In responding to your dirty diaper concern... Babies absorb more of the breastmilk than formula so the dirty diapers should decrease... That is what I read and what the pedi mentioned.

    I supplemented with formula during day 2- day 13 and after that dirty diapers decreased... Except my LO went from almost pooping after every feeding to 6-8 times per day. Now at 4 months he still poops 2-3 times per day.

    Also, I recall reading that se breastfed babies can go days without a poop and it's okay.. As long as it's the right consistency (seedy, soft) and color (yellow).

    HTH

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •