My little one is not much of a crier. Even when being vaccinated, my little one does not cry. So when my little one was still during the early infancy stage, I researched all the hunger cues that babies show when they are hungry.
Sometimes I can see my little one doing the “rooting” (baby looks for your breasts and does a sucking motion) hunger cue but the clenched fists are always consistent. Since my little is not a crier, I always check the fists.
And when the fists are clenched, more than usually the sucking of the fists comes next. Whenever I see this, I immediately nurse my little one. Remember, do not put a time limit when you breastfeed your little one. Example of an old maid’s tale that should NOT be followed: 15 minutes on one side then 15 minutes on the other side. Never follow any timing rule you hear from others. Your little one will detach from one side and look for the other side if he/she still wants more. Not limiting your little one will allow him/her to get the hind milk, which is full of fats. Now, for example, your little one just nursed on one side for the entire session, in the next session offer the other side of your breast which will feel a lot fuller than the other.
Yes, watching out for hunger cues especially at night will only contribute more to your sleep deprivation. But trust me, everything will be alright and this too shall pass. I still breastfeed my toddler and the signs now are more obvious:
1. Little one says “Dede”
2. Reaches under my shirt and looks for my breasts
3. At night, my little one touches my breasts and motions to suck or does the sucking sound
Hunger signs will get more obvious as they grow older, and as long as there are adequate amount of wet diapers and poop, then you are breastfeeding just fine. Happy breastfeeding Mommy!