If you notice changes in your baby’s height and weight, it is very possible that he or she is undergoing a growth spurt. This happens to children as they go through different stages of mental and physical development.
What is a growth spurt?
Baby growth spurt is not a term you’ve just heard. It’s been circulating around ever since the start of your pregnancy. Now that your baby is here, it becomes even more real for you.
Growth spurts are defined as the sudden increase of the baby’s weight and height. Aside from commonly happening during the first year of life, it also reappear during puberty and other times in the child’s toddler years.
For infants, the effects of such developmental changes could be visible overnight. This means that your baby can weight this or that today and will show remarkable weight gain the next day. It can be very strange especially to first time parents but it’s completely normal.
When does it happen?
Although it does not follow a strict rule on schedule, experts have found out that most baby growth spurts occur during the following:
1st week after birth
Take note that this is merely a rough guide; it can be different in your case as no two babies are totally the same.
Signs of growth spurts
The most obvious sign of growth spurt is your baby’s increased appetite. This means longer and more frequent feeding. The more they feed, the more weight they gain.
Another sign you may notice is their overall change in behavior. Some babies could be more clingy than usual. There are also those who show a higher level of crankiness. Restlessness is also very common. If they show such signs and you can’t attribute it to reasons such as sickness, it could be that they’re going through a baby growth spurt.
Because it plays a great role in your baby’s development, sleeping more than usual can also be noticed. This means more frequent naps and longer sleeping time during the day.
How to deal with baby growth spurts
The best thing to do during these special situations is to go with the flow. Be sensitive to the changes your baby is showing and adjust to such changes. For instance, they may spend more time sleeping at night. As a result, they miss their feeding time. Try not to wake them up to feed. To address their development needs, their body needs that sleep.
Increased milk intake also worries a lot of moms. They wonder if the milk they produce is enough. That’s why they think of supplementing breastfeeding with formula milk to address their babies’ needs.
It only has well-meaning intentions but it may not be the best thing to do. If your baby has been exclusively breastfeed up until this point, adding formula milk to their diet could throw your milk production off balance. The most effective way to increase your milk supply is through feeding as much as the baby needs, which in turn sends signals to the brain to produce more.
As for the crankiness, you just may have to put up with it. After all, it won’t last forever. In fact, you only have to deal with baby growth spurts for a couple of days to a week at the maximum.
It’s not growth spurt if…
Irritability can be a normal symptom of growth spurt. But if you notice that your baby is extremely irritable and no amount of comforting, feeding, or rest can pacify them, it can be something else entirely. Another important thing you should remember is growth spurts are not accompanied by fever. A lot of moms think fever is common when babies are undergoing changes such as growth spurts or teething. It’s not. Your baby is sick and needs medical attention. So make sure to consult a doctor.
Baby growth spurts are wonderful. They are yet another proof of how amazing and surprising human development can be. Focusing on your baby during these stages is always a good thing to do. However, it wouldn’t hurt to take notice of your baby needs as well. Longer feeding times could leave you tired or thirsty. Make sure to drink enough fluids. Take care of yourself. Your wellbeing is important too.