Baby Growth Spurts
Baby Growth Spurts
What is a growth spurt?
It is a time period, where a baby has intense, rapid bursts of growth, which is typically the first year of baby life. During these bursts of growth, babies will put on weight, along with an increase in length and head circumference. These are the parameters, you would have noticed, the doctors/paediatricians mainly check during your baby’s vaccination visits or routine check-ups.
Apart from this, your baby might be mastering a skill he/she has been learning for a while, whether you’ve noticed or not. They may be near to hitting a developmental milestone when this happens, which is most of the time clearly noticeable afterwards.
Growth spurts affect the normal set of routines (if there are any), in a variety of ways and may last from a few days to weeks.
When do they Occur?
Growth spurts may occur around the following age groups:
1-3 weeks, 6-8 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months. But they may also occur at any other time periods during the first year, since the babies tend to triple their weight and gain about 10 inches of length during the first 12 months of life.
How do I know if my baby is having a Growth Spurt?
There are some major signs to look out for:
- Increased hunger
The most easily noticeable sign is the increased hunger. Breastfed babies take longer to finish, bottle fed ones may need more to fill them up completely. Solid eaters may be eager to have more and more.
- Frequent night waking
Not only the night time sleep, if they were sleeping for 4-6 hours at a stretch, but also the day time naps will be disrupted. Your baby would want to practice more and more of a newly learned skill, or they would just need to be close to you for comfort.
- Increased fussiness.
The fussiness and crankiness could increase because of the constant hunger, lack of sleep and tiredness, all related to each other.
How to handle baby growth spurts?
During such periods, your baby needs you more than ever, for feeding and cuddles. He/she’s tired, you’re tired, nobody’s resting enough. This is a tough time for both the mother and the baby.
Lots of patience and a calm mind is all you need because this time will pass, at max it may take 15 days, which is a lot when you’re in constant demand all the time. Sometimes, it is only a few days to maximum a week. The hunger will fade away when the little one achieves what was due. The sound sleep will come back for the both of you, until then..
Utilise this time to bond with your baby.
- Lots of love, cuddles and kisses will make them happy and calm the waking up situation for you both.
- Read to them, even if they are little, trust me it will be beneficial in the future, and it’s a great way to bond.
- Accept the situation and work towards the solutions that work for you and your baby
- Listen to some calming music, or lullaby’s when you’re feeding, babies love that.
Some babies might not show any signs of such growth spurts, may be because they are sleeping more during such periods, rather than having sleeping regressions. You should always look out for age appropriate weight gain and check with the doctor. If that is fine, your baby is doing fine.
Since every baby is different, a baby growth spurt is a great way of learning about your baby. It helps you understand your baby better. It makes you a stronger mother, when you push your limits and challenge your body and mind to bond with your baby and meet his/her needs.
In a way, it’s a growth spurt for the mother as well.
Reema Nehru, a former HR Manager, who is loving her new role as a Mama to a beautiful boy. She is a self-care advocate who practices what she preaches. A bookworm, who is trying to live a meaningful life with mindfulness.