There are times when it seems like your baby is growing faster than others. You may also notice that changes in their eating and sleeping habits, and their mood. During the first year, especially, baby growth spurts occur regularly. A spurt may last a few days or a week. While your baby is experiencing a growth spurt, you’ll need to be prepared to comfort and feed them more than usual.
What’s Going On During a Growth Spurt?
When babies have a growth spurt, they may add weight, length, and head circumference faster than usual. They may also master skills or hit developmental milestones they’ve been working on for a while. Many parents first notice an increase in how often or how much their babies eat before they realize they are having a growth spurt. Watch out for times when your baby seems hungrier than usual. If you are breastfeeding, you may notice your baby wants to nurse longer than usual, or maybe they want to nurse more often. If you are bottle-feeding your baby, you may notice they are still hungry even after finishing the bottle.
Some babies will go through a growth spurt without showing you any signs. You may be surprised when they are weighed in at the doctor’s office and they’ve jumped to the next percentile. You may notice that their onesies got suddenly tighter. Some babies tend to sleep more during a growth spurt, while other babies sleep less than their norm. Babies who are going through a growth spurt may become unsettled, clingy, or fussy. These mood changes can disrupt their normal nap and nighttime sleep patterns.
How Long Do Growth Spurts Last?
There’s no way to guess when a growth spurt may happen. They usually only last for a day or two. As your baby ages, growth spurts can last as long as a week. There are some times when growth spurts are more likely to occur. During your baby’s first year, you can expect growth spurts at:
- Between 2 and 3 weeks
- Between 4 and 6 weeks
- Between 6 and 8 weeks
- At about 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months of age
Every baby will have a different growth pattern, so there’s no need to worry if your baby doesn’t have a growth spurt during these times. Some babies have growth spurts more or less frequently. You may not even be able to notice their growth spurts at all.
Do Growth Spurts Coincide with Feeding Spurts?
Even though growth spurts and feeding spurts may not occur simultaneously, they are related. You may notice your baby has times when they are hungrier than normal. But it may or may not be during a growth spurt. During feeding spurts, babies want to eat more frequently, or they may spend more time nursing. They may want to eat more often. It makes sense that your baby will need more calories to grow. It’s likely that a growth spurt may follow a feeding or hunger spurt.
Common Signs of a Growth Spurt
Aside from increased hunger, your baby may offer a few more clues that they are experiencing a growth spurt. Some babies will want to sleep more than usual before or during a growing spurt. They may wake you up less frequently at night, or they may take longer naps. These are signs that they need extra energy to grow. If you notice your baby sleeping more over a day or two, you may look for new growth. However, babies are individuals, and some babies actually sleep less during their growth spurts. They may wake up more at night, wake up earlier in the mornings, or take shorter naps. This may be due to a related feeding spurt. They may be waking up more frequently so they can eat. It can be difficult to adjust to these changes in the way your baby sleeps. It’s often exhausting. However, it should be short-lived since growth spurts only last a few days. They should return to their regular routine quickly.
You may notice your baby is fussier, more restless, and more clingy than usual during a growth spurt. They may want to be held longer and more often. Babies often cry when they are laid down. You may also notice that your baby is weepy and unsettled during times they are usually calm and more laid back. Feelings of being overwhelmed or tired may cause these types of changes. These behavioral changes may also be signs that a big developmental change is on the way. Sometimes, when babies become more fussy or cranky, they may be getting to show a new skill like rolling over or crawling.
What to do During Growth Spurts
When your baby is experiencing mood or behavioral changes due to a growth spurt, try to respond to their clues. Try to give them what they need, whether it’s a morning nap, more feedings, or just some quiet time and cuddles. During a growth spurt, you may start to think that your baby isn’t getting enough milk. When your baby nurses frequently, it will increase your milk supply, you should make enough milk needed to meet their needs. It can take a day or two for your body to catch up with your baby’s needs. If you are worried about it, talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant who can provide support. Boost your milk production by letting your baby nurse as much as they want. You should eat well-balanced, nutritious meals and drink lots of water.
Bottle-fed babies may need an extra bottle or two. You may also try adding another ounce or two to their bottles. Once the growth spurt is over, they should go back to wanting less formula. However, they may also want to stick with the increased amount. As babies grow, their stomachs get bigger too. They may drink fewer bottles each day, but with more formula in each one.
Clothing to Keep Up with Your Baby’s Growth Spurts
When your baby has growth spurts, they will start to outgrow their clothes quickly. For newborns, the Little Biscuit Sac is perfect as it is easily adjusted to your baby’s growth. Our footed long-sleeve onesie is ideal for babies up to 12 months. Two-piece lounger sets offer sizes from about 18 to 24 months up to 4T. Little Biscuits an help ensure your little one is cozy and comfy!