June 17, 2021 5 min read
Is your Baby Going Through a Growth Spurt? – surefire signs to watch out for
They grow up in the blink of an eye. Quite literally. Although this is a natural process and part of life, now is the time to make, document and hold on to those memories tight.
It is also a time when many parents wonder if their baby is going through a growth spurt. Luckily, there are some key signs you can look out for that may very well signal that your little bundle of joy is about to outgrow their favorite onesie.
What is a Growth Spurt?
A growth spurt represents a period in your baby’s life when they experience a growth rate significantly higher than their already fast-paced development. This time is often marked by several changes in behavior and demeanor. More on those signs, how to prepare for growth spurts, how long they last and more below…
What Are the Signs Your Baby is Experiencing a Growth Spurt?
This one is a bit of a challenge to pin down. Here’s why. A major growth spurt may result in your baby sleeping like a log all night long. They may be exceedingly tired, requiring more rest as their body diverts energy and resources to grow. According to Dr. Nieman, a pediatrician and assistant clinical professor of the University of Calgary Medical School (2019), there are critical physiological events and processes essential to growth that take place during sleep.
On the flip side, your child might also be up at all hours of the night, usually due to an increase in hunger as their body needs a sudden increase in nutrients to support growth.
Just when you were getting used to your little one’s feeding schedule they toss you a curveball. By now you likely have it down to the hour that your baby will be hungry. If your child now demands more frequent feedings, especially throughout the night when they used to sleep right through, they could be experiencing a major growth spurt.
These extra feedings provide your baby with the additional calories and nutrients that act as the building blocks to help them grow up big and strong.
One common concern with mothers who breastfeed is being able to keep up with this seemingly insatiable demand for milk. But don’t fret, your body will typically keep pace so long as you also are taking care of yourself with proper rest, diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you find that you’re unable to produce enough milk, however, speak with your doctor about temporary options, including formula.
Has your little angel suddenly transformed into an irritable nightmare? Of course, we still love them and thank goodness they’re cute because ugh!
Although irritability can be a sign of other issues that you’ll want to keep an eye out for, it is also a very common symptom or side effect of a growth spurt. When noticed in combination with the other tell-tale signs, you can be pretty certain of the reason.
Signs You Can Watch Our for Include:
Now that you know the signs to watch out for, here are a few tips and FAQs to help you get through this in one piece…
When do Babies Have Growth Spurts?
The first year of your child’s life is a time of rapid development, with growth spurts capable of kicking off any time during those first 12-months.
In most cases, your baby will experience their first growth spurt somewhere between weeks 1-3. But wait, there’s more! Gear up, because most babies also experience a growth spurt between weeks 6-8 of age.
After that, growth spurts become less frequent, giving you a little breather and more time to prepare. Following the week 6-8 spurt, you can expect another period of rapid growth around month 3, 6 and 9.
Quick Recap of When to Expect Growth Spurts:
How Long do Baby Growth Spurts Last?
Of great relief is the fact that growth spurts are typically quite short, though not always sweet. In most cases, these ‘spurts’ last between 1-3 days. However, older babies may experience them for up to a week.
Because of this short timeframe, many parents miss the signs, with the growth spurt coming and going without them even noticing.
How to Prepare for Your Baby’s Growth Spurt
A little planning and preparation can go a long way to help give you the peace of mind you need to make it through what can be a few trying days. Similarly, you can make sure your little angel is comfortable and has everything they need to level up.
Emergency Care Package
Sounds funny right? After all, we’re not prepping for the apocalypse here. This package will be comprised of ½ items for YOU, and ½ for your little one.
What we’re aiming for here is to anticipate sleepless nights, frustration, and fussiness…for you and them.
A Few Suggestions for this Package Include:
Stock Up on the Essentials
Your baby will likely be a lot hungrier. Having extra formula or using a pump in advance to store breast milk is advisable. Extra meals also means extra diaper changes, so you’ll want to make sure you’re all stocked up on diapers, wipes and baby powder.
Be Ready to “Size-Up”
In the span of just a few days to a week you may notice that all of a sudden your baby’s once perfectly fitting onesies no longer fit. Being ready with a wardrobe update ahead of time is one less thing you need to worry about in the moment.
Take Care of Yourself
We can’t stress this enough. Your health matters just as much as your baby’s health does. Make sure you’re eating a healthy balanced diet, trying to squeeze in a nap whenever possible, exercising or staying active when you can muster the energy, and so on.
We also highly suggest meditation and taking some ‘down time’ for you. Be it reading or binging on your favorite show, a little can go a long way in keeping you sane lol.
Hang in there. Being a parent is a tough gig, but you’re doing a great job. This tougher than usual time will come and go in the blink of an eye…even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.
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