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Baby Growth Spurts

Baby Growth Spurts

Parents know when something is “off” with their child. Baby suddenly gets extra fussy, or seems to be hungry all the time, or isn’t sleeping like he or she used to. Maybe it’s a combination of these factors. Either way, things are not quite right with your baby.

Before you panic and call the pediatrician, consider your child’s age. What you’re experiencing could simply be a growth spurt. When my nursing son hit the one month mark, it seemed like all he wanted to do was eat. Considering that that was all he had done for the first four weeks of his life, it was nearly unfathomable that he might want to eat even more than what he was already consuming. But he did! Because, as it turned out, it was a growth spurt.

Growth spurts can be sometimes difficult to identify but, in general, they occur around the first few days after arriving home from the hospital, then at about 1 week old, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 6 months and 9 months. In addition, after one year of age, growth spurts may occur again every few months or so until your child becomes a teenager. Of course, as with most things baby related, your timing may vary a bit. Growth spurts usually last two or three days.

Signs of a growth spurt include:

  • Baby is hungry all the time
  • He or she frequently wakes at night to eat
  • Baby is more fussy or cranky than usual

For nursing moms, if your baby seems to be hungry all the time, just go along with it and feed your baby when he or she wants to eat. Don’t worry about running out of milk; your milk supply will adjust to your baby’s needs. In addition, if you are nursing, you might also be hungrier or thirstier while your baby is experiencing a growth spurt. It’s nature’s way of telling you that you need to eat more for baby. Just eat or drink more each day (opting for healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and plenty of water, of course.)

If bottle feeding, bring on the bottles! Remember that babies are simply incapable of overeating. If he or she is fussing and seems hungry, try giving a bottle.

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5 Comments on "Baby Growth Spurts"

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5 years 5 months ago

As a pediatrician’s office, we see a lot of worried moms who aren’t sure if they are overfeeding their newborns–and since weight isn’t necessarily an indicator, it’s extra tough to figure out if it is a “growth spurt” or overfeeding. Sometimes reflux can be a sign…but sometimes it’s not.

6 years 6 months ago
My baby is over earring belive me ! I thought it was exstreemly bad reflux no I saw consultant n he said she is over feeding as well as haveing slight refluxs as she throws up whilst feeding she is greedy n is putting lodes of waight on out of 24 hours she feeds 17 hours usualy sleeps from 12-7am then feeds 99% of the time constantly throwing up she is 16 weeks today n I gave her some baby rice about 5oz of brestmilk it was made with n still she has been feeding sins haveing that at lunch… Read more »
Breastfeeding Mommy
7 years 5 months ago

I agree with Siren, breastfed babies don’t overeat, if they’re fussy in the night offer the breast as chances are they’re having a growth spurt. They need to feed more to make your supply match their appetite

8 years 4 months ago

Babies can NOT overeat. Breastfed babies grow very quickly during the first 3 months of life and then their growth slows to match that of a formula fed baby. That’s why the CDC and WHO growth charts don’t match up. One uses formula fed babies in their model, the other uses breast fed babies as their standard.

8 years 4 months ago

Babies certainly can overeat. My first fussed a lot so I nursed her every two hours. By 3 months, she blew up in size. First time mom mistake. Feeding is not always the answer to fussing.

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