October 16, 2018

Infant Growth Spurt : All you need to know

Baby sleeping in infant growth spurt

Our lives change as soon as we become mothers. And once we get a hang of the sleeping and eating schedules something new starts and they get messed up. Infant growth spurt is frequent and that is the reason why babies grow so quickly in the first year. More about infant growth spurt and related FAQ’s in this blog post.

When do these growth spurts take place?

Growth spurts can happen at anytime and they are very important for the growth of the baby. Every child responds to this spurt differently. Some don’t show any change in behaviour but their physical stats change tremendously, like height or head circumference. Whereas some might show all of the signs mentioned below.

How can I track the growth spurts?

In general, babies have growth spurts at seven to ten days, six weeks, three months, four months, six months and nine months. This a general timeline and can wary from baby to baby.

What happens in the period of growth spurt?

Babies gain weight, height and head circumference during a growth spurt. Some babies might achieve their developmental milestones during this period, for example crawling or walking.

Information about infant growth spurts

What are mental leaps? Are they same as a growth spurt?

Mental leaps are changes in the brain which make the baby able to perceive new things. I came across an application called the Wonder Weeks through a mom friend. It shows the calendar for these mental leaps and tells you what to expect during and after the leap. This was very helpful to me all this time. Because I could get to know the reason behind a clingy behaviour and how to help my baby. Note that the first three mental leaps coincide with the first three growth spurts. This is when the head circumference grows.

This application gives information about the ten leaps and gives details about what to expect at the end of each leap. I can understand that you might feel it adds to the anxiousness, knowing in advance that your baby might be cranky. But I feel, it makes me ready for the leap knowing when the phase will start. Also, it shows how to help your baby master the skills that he is learning in that particular leap. And I have extensively used its’ suggestions. You can read more about The Wonder Weeks at their website.

Remember : Infant growth spurt means progress in baby’s development 

Baby sleeping

Signs of an infant growth spurt
Baby is hungrier more often

You will notice that your baby wants to eat non stop during this time. If you are breastfeeding, you might see that the baby wants to be latched on for a longer time after a feed or wants frequent feeds. Formula fed babies would want more even after finishing a bottle of feed. 

Night wakings

Babies undergoing a growth spurt might wake up often at night to eat. Day time naps mights also be cut short. Make sure you do not try to set any routine at this time because the habits might change once the spurt ends.

Cranky/Clingy Behaviour

Babies show a clingy behaviour during this time. They want to be held most of the time or want might want your constant attention.

These signs are not exclusively associated with growth spurts. Sometimes babies do all of the above when they are teething.  The baby wants to breastfeed more often to get comfort while he is teething. And also has sleepless nights. My son shows all these signs when he has a blocked nose or is unwell. So a word of caution here, if you feel that your child might be sick, consult a doctor. Growth spurts don’t cause fever or extreme crying.

What should you do while you baby has a growth spurt?

Respond to your baby’s needs. If he feels hungry, feed him whenever he wants. If he want to be close to you, hold him or wear him whenever possible. That helps to make him feel better. You should take care of yourself during this period, because your baby wants your more than usual. Eat healthy diet and make sure your get ample rest too.

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Lessons from the first year of motherhood

16 thoughts on “Infant Growth Spurt : All you need to know

  1. This was very informative and helpful. I had 5 “babies” though none are babies anymore. But I remember when they would have these crazy growth spurts and eat or sleep constantly. I miss those days.

  2. This is so helpful! I seriously didn’t know what to expect with the first growth spurts. I knew they were coming but I was NOT prepared! Especially for all of the nursing my baby started doing! It’s great that there are resources like this out there for new moms!

  3. I think hospitals need to provide mothers with a journal on discharge of what to expect and what not to during the first 2 years. These growth spurts are sometimes insane and can raise the BP of most mothers. It is so overwhelming when the spurt lasts for more than a month that you end up doubting everything you have been doing till date.

  4. This is such an imp piece of info for new Moms.. I have experienced very prominent forms of growth spurt with my daughter and it’s actually essential to be aware of what’s happening!

  5. Aaah growth spurts that horrible monster. Thank God i was read up and prepared about growth spurts or else I would have greatly doubted my abilities to take care of my child. Also factually speaking most growth spurts is when new moms begin to doubt their breastmilk supply and give up. Its so sad that they dont know about growth spurts really. 🙁 And i also read somewhere that growth spurts even happen in teenages.. that probably explains that extreme teenage moodiness and angst.

  6. Luckily, we’ve been cruising through leaps apart from a few nights when the baby decides she will stay up for hours playing. Growth spurts in the initial days was all about cluster feeding.

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