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PLAYING: Signs your baby is full | Old’s hunger and fullness cues

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Signs your baby is full | Old’s hunger and fullness cues

Is your hungry baby eating enough? Here are some hunger and fullness cues to watch out for during your toddler's development.

3 mins to read Nov 4, 2016

Is your hungry baby eating enough? Here are some hunger and fullness cues to watch out for

From 6 to 7 months

Knowing when to feed

At this stage, your baby’s menu may have expanded to include more infant cereals and baby food varieties. Her excitement over food can turn mealtime into a fun, playful experience for the both of you. Take advantage of it.

Hunger signs

  • Still cries or fusses when hungry or desires food.
  • Reaches for spoonfuls of food.
  • Opens mouth and leans in toward bowl or spoon.
  • Stares at you while eating as if to say “I’m not done yet.”


Don’t force more food than your baby seems to want. Respect that he knows when he’s full.

Knowing when he’s full

Whether breast-, bottle- or spoon-feeding, your baby makes his wishes known when he’s full.

Fullness signs

  • Turns her head from the nipple, if it’s breast or bottle.
  • Leans away from the food and may push the spoon away.
  • Clenches her mouth shut and doesn’t allow you to feed her.
  • Spits out food that she likes.
  • Pushes away the bowl or whatever food is there.
  • Slows down the pace, gets distracted and looks elsewhere.


From 8 to 12 months

Knowing when to feed

It’s important to recognise hunger and fullness cues because a baby’s tummy is small. Although your baby’s portions may seem tiny, she eats less, but more frequently than you do. You are learning her cues for hunger and fullness, and she is learning how to respond to your behaviour.

Hunger signs

  • Kicking her legs and banging on the high chair tray says “Hurry up with the food, Mom.”
  • Putting fingers in her mouth and fussing, which lets you know she may be hungry.
  • Carefully watches as you prepare her food, and is excited when you present it.
  • Reaches for food when she sees it says “time to eat.”
  • Eats with full attention on you and anticipates the next bite.


It is your job as a parent to provide healthy foods. It is your child’s job to decide what and how much to eat.

Knowing when she’s full

Your baby usually makes his wishes known when she’s full.

Fullness signs

  • Turns her head or leans away from the spoon.
  • Shuts her mouth tight and shakes her head “no” to say she’s had enough.
  • Pushes away her bowl and tries to knock the spoon from your hand.
  • No longer appears interested in eating and looks away from you.


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