Babies grow so quickly that a time interval of a few days or weeks is enough to see visual signs of growth in them. There are some specific times, however, when they grow leaps and bounds and might show some characteristic behavior during such times. Here is some general information about this phenomenon commonly referred to as growth spurts.
Last Updated: 23 October 2020
When a growth spurt happens, your baby will have a rapid weight gain, will show a sudden increase in length and undergo an expansion of her head circumference. She may also reach a new milestone during a growth spurt.
Babies grow and touch milestones at other times as well. Thus it may be not straight forward to distinguish a growth spurt from a routine growth period. When you or your baby’s caretaker closely follow your baby’s behavior on a day-to-day basis, you might be able to identify the exact times when growth spurts happen.What are the signs of a growth spurt?
When your baby is experiencing a growth spurt, she may show the following signs:ü Constant Hunger
When growth spurts happen, babies need additional calories and nutrition to compensate the requirements of their work-in-progress. This makes them feel hungry more often than at other times. As young infants wouldn’t be able to express their feeling of hunger, the following behavior in them should give you cues:
If you are breastfeeding your baby, suddenly it may seem like your day just doesn’t get going anywhere other than feeding your baby. She might have had a nursing session just a few minutes ago and she begins to cry again in minutes for your attention. If except for feeding her again, nothing else, however you may try, soothes her down, she is likely in her growth spurt phase.
When formula-fed babies show signs of disappointment of having emptied their feeding bottles like throwing cross the bottles or hitting it against the floor or table, they might be signaling for another immediate round of feeding.
Babies who have started on their solids may begin to show signs of unusual hunger. Your baby might try to grab the feeding spoon in anxiety, or tap the highchair tray in frustration. Initially, you might not be able to get clarity of what your little one is feeling; but if her mood becomes alright when you serve her more food, it is likely that growth spurt is happening.ü Unusual long hours of sleep
Some studies have shown that growth in babies occur during sleep. An important growth hormone is released in baby’s brain which makes it necessary for them to sleep for longer than usual. The following changes in her sleep patterns must give you a sign of growth spurt happening:
· Your baby might take a no-break night of sleeping
· She may wake up late in the mornings than she normally does
· She may take more naps during the day
· Sleep might overpower her all of a sudden while she’s feeding or playing
ü Sleeping lesser than normal
Yes, it is weird that sleeping lesser than normal can also sign a growth spurt. Some babies might refuse to fall asleep or take shorter naps which is absolutely normal, as well, during growth spurts.ü Increased fussiness
If your baby seems to be cranky in a row for a couple of days, you must watch out for symptoms of growth spurts. Babies tend to be unsettled as their bodies are gearing up for a big change in volume. They may get upset even for their routine like leaving them down in a crib for a nap, or during changing their nappies.When do growth spurts happen?
Every baby is different and definite timelines when growth spurts can happen cannot be drawn upon. However, based on studies on baby growth patterns, here are the baby ages when growth spurts are most likely to happen:
· Two weeks
· Three weeks
· Six weeks
· Three months
· Six monthsHow long does growth spurts last?
In infants, growth spurts happen for a day or two, while in older babies, it can go up to a week.What should I do during a growth spurt?
Growth spurts do not require any special care. You will take care of your baby’s needs as you will on any other day. The benefit of becoming aware of your baby’s growth spurts are:
· You get to understand your baby’s mood.
· You do not worry about the changes you see in them.
· You are able to handle the shift in their moods better.
· You do not project your apprehensions or frustrations on them.
· You provide them sufficient food and a conducive environment for sleep which their little bodies demand.