Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.
When an infant doesn’t cry when hungry, it can be concerning for a new parent. There are several reasons for this behavior, and thankfully some solutions are available to ensure your baby knows they are being heard and will get the nourishment they need.
Reasons why babies don’t cry when hungry
1. They have become used to being fed on a schedule
When babies and toddlers are consistently fed on the same program, their bodies learn when to expect food and may not cry out for it. Consistency is excellent in providing your baby with healthy habits, but this can sometimes mean that your baby will not alert you when hungry.
2. Your baby may be too tired to cry out for food
Babies need regular sleep; if they need more of it, their hunger cues might not be as apparent as you would expect them to be. While babies can become overtired and resistant to sleep, they may skip meals if they are too tired.
3. Your baby is distracted
Babies can become so engrossed in their toys, activities, or a good cuddle that they forget to express hunger. This can be especially true if your baby has been exposed to other stimuli, such as being out and about in active environments like parks or shopping malls.
Solutions to ensure your baby is getting enough nourishment
1. Keep to a consistent feeding schedule
Ensure that you provide your baby with meals and snacks at the same time each day to ensure they get the nourishment they need. This will also help them develop an internal clock, so they know when it’s time for food and can alert you if needed.
2. Be mindful of their sleep patterns
Ensure that your baby is getting adequate rest to ensure they don’t become too tired to let you know when they are hungry. This will also help them regulate their appetite and alert their body when it’s time for food.
3. Make feeding a priority
If your baby is particularly distracted, make sure that feeding times are the priority. Set aside a particular time for feeding and create an environment free of distractions where you can focus solely on nourishing your baby.
4. Make sure that your baby is getting enough restful sleep
Follow a consistent sleep schedule. This will help your baby’s body regulate hunger cues and alert them when it’s time for food.
5. Gently stroking their forehead or lightly tapping them on the chest
By doing so, you are stimulating their nervous system and bringing your baby’s attention to the fact that they are hungry. This can often trigger a hungry cry and alert you that your baby needs to be fed.
It is important to remember that all babies are different and have their individual needs. For example, if your baby doesn’t cry when hungry, it may be due to various factors, such as tiredness or distraction. However, there are some solutions you can implement. With these tips in mind, parents should feel more confident about ensuring their little one receives all the necessary nourishment!