Baby Gesture

How Babies Communicate Their Hunger to Moms

January 22, 2024 | by Carlene Kuntz

baby wearing blue blanket


Babies have a unique way of letting their moms know when they are hungry. While they may not be able to speak or use words, babies have various cues and signals that they use to communicate their hunger. In this article, we will explore some of the ways babies notify their moms when they want to feed.


One of the most common ways babies communicate their hunger is through crying. When a baby is hungry, they will often start crying to get their mom’s attention. The cry may start off as a soft whimper and gradually escalate into a louder cry if their hunger is not addressed. It is important for moms to pay attention to their baby’s cries and respond promptly to their needs.

Rooting Reflex

Another way babies indicate their hunger is through the rooting reflex. This reflex is present from birth and is a natural instinct for babies to turn their heads towards the source of touch or stimulation on their cheek or mouth. When a baby is hungry, they will often turn their head and open their mouth, searching for the breast or bottle.

Sucking on Fingers or Hands

Babies may also suck on their fingers or hands as a way of signaling their hunger. This self-soothing behavior helps to calm them down while also indicating their need for nourishment. Moms can observe if their baby is sucking on their fingers or hands and take it as a cue that they are ready to be fed.

Increased Activity

When a baby is hungry, they may become more active and alert. They may start kicking their legs, waving their arms, or moving their body in a restless manner. This increased activity is a way for babies to express their hunger and grab their mom’s attention.

Smacking Lips

Some babies may smack their lips when they are hungry. This action mimics the sucking motion and is a clear indication that they are ready to feed. Moms can look out for this subtle cue and respond by offering their baby the breast or bottle.

Eye Contact

Babies often make eye contact with their moms when they are hungry. They may stare at their mom’s face or lock eyes with them, trying to establish a connection and communicate their need for food. Moms can pay attention to their baby’s eye contact and respond by initiating the feeding process.


Babies have their own unique ways of notifying their moms when they want to feed. By understanding and recognizing these cues, moms can respond promptly to their baby’s hunger needs. Crying, rooting reflex, sucking on fingers or hands, increased activity, smacking lips, and eye contact are all important signals that moms should be aware of. By being attuned to their baby’s cues, moms can ensure that their little ones are well-nourished and content.


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