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Bring baby to the breast when he shows these early hunger cues:
- Moving hands or fists to his mouth
- Making sucking motions
- Nuzzling against or searching for your breast
Let your baby end the feeding when he shows these signs he’s full:
- Releases or “falls off” the breast
- Turns away from the nipple
- Relaxes his body and opens his fists
If baby stops sucking and does not come off the breast on his own, slide your finger into the corner of his mouth to break the suction. Burp your baby, then offer the other breast. He may nurse again right away or take the other side in a few minutes or a few hours.
Is it possible to overfeed my baby?
Babies who are breastfed when they show early hunger cues usually eat the right amount for their age and weight. Moms are encouraged to breastfeed baby whenever he shows signs of hunger. The more often mom nurses baby, the more milk she will make.
Bottle-fed babies may be overfed if a caregiver tries to make sure the baby finishes a bottle. A baby is finished eating when he falls asleep or releases the bottle nipple. He should not be awakened or encouraged to finish the bottle.
It is important that caregivers learn tips on how to bottle-feed a breastfed baby so that the amount of breastmilk that is used is based on your baby’s needs. Download Bottle-Feeding Your Breastfed Baby: A Guide for Success (PDF, 2.3mb).