What are growth spurts and when do they happen?
Growth spurts (sometimes called ‘frequency days’ for newborns) occur throughout a child’s life until they become a fully grown adult. The most frequent and recognisable growth spurts however are during the first year of a baby’s life. Most babies will have growth spurts at the following times, however all babies are different and don’t necessarily read from the same calendar.
How Long Do They Last?
Growth spurts usually last 2-3 days, sometime up to a week (for the later growth spurts).
Symptoms of a Growth Spurt
Your baby may become more fussy, want to feed more often, not sleep as well (or some sleep more often and are hard to wake, when they are not feeding), get impatient when feeding, wake more often in the night and want to be held a lot. If you are breastfeeding you may think you have problems with your milk supply, suspect that your baby is sick and/or generally get frustrated that your day is out of wack and you don’t know what is wrong with your baby!
How to Deal With a Growth Spurt
Go with it! Your child is hungry for a reason, their body is ready to grow and to do so they need extra energy from food. If you are breastfeeding, feed your baby whenever they seem to want it. Your milk supply is determined by supply and demand, so if you baby is demanding more food, your supply will increase which is a good thing – you will have more milk for your baby as they grow and need more. If you are bottle feeding, increase the amount available per feed, and feed more often if that is what your baby is wanting. In a few days everything will go back to normal, so just hang in there!