Surviving The Baby Growth Spurt
The baby growth spurt can be frustrating; just when you have your baby’s sleep schedule down they go into another growth spurt that sends their whole routine spiraling out of control! Even babies that sleep well at night can wake up frequently during growth spurts—sometimes as often as every hour or two—needing to be fed. Growth spurts normally last 2-4 days, with some taking up to a week to run their course. Here’s what to expect during your child’s growth spurts:
The Baby Growth Spurt: Feeding
Expect your child to have “a seemingly insatiable appetite; they may want to eat seemingly around the clock, sometimes every hour.” You can increase your milk supply to support the higher calorie intake demands by increasing your water intake and breastfeeding on demand. Short and frequent feedings signaling more milk production. During this time expect more wet diapers than normal. After the growth spurt, you may have fuller breasts when your baby’s nursing demands suddenly tapers off—a perfect opportunity to store some milk for future use.
The Baby Growth Spurt: Mood
Babies are generally fussier than normal during a growth spurt which depending on the timing can often be misdiagnosed as teething or colic. “They may even complain while at the breast, pulling of and re-latching over and over.” Their fussiness is often caused by sleep deprivation from frequent feedings and disrupted sleep.
The Baby Growth Spurt: Sleep Disruption
Expect disrupted sleep as your baby wakes up more often to satisfy their increased calorie needs. After a significant feeding they can also go down for unusual periods of extended sleep ‘off schedule’. “Don’t wake up the baby to feed during this time because sleep is essential for their growth. In fact babies generally do most of their growing while they are asleep.”
How many growth spurts should you expect in the first year? Here are some common periods when infants go through growth spurts:
- 7-10 days
- 2 weeks
- 4 weeks
- 8 weeks
- 12 weeks
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 8.5 months
- 10.5 months
- 12.5 months
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