When he’s born, your baby looks tiny and fragile. By the time he’s one year old, it doesn’t seem like this is the same tiny, fragile human being that came out of your womb 12 months ago. This development happens due to the baby’s growth spurt.
Imagine getting into a good feeding schedule for the baby and you know exactly the amount of feeding required in one session and then your baby decides to feed more, or seem hungrier than usual, all of a sudden. This imagination will certainly become a reality more often than not and that is the first indication of a growth spurt.
Some babies don’t change their patterns of feeding or their behavior so it’s hard to figure out they’re having a growth spurt – have their weight checked to have an idea that they’re going through it – every baby goes through the phase nonetheless. Researches show that most babies who go through this stage become extra fussy, clingy and have a hard time sleeping or napping.
Every baby grows at a different rate, and since babies can’t read calendars, they won’t exactly follow a proper schedule for having a growth spurt. But studies have estimated the following to be common periods of a growth spurt in babies.
Some children have more spurts than usual and some lesser. It’s all normal. The spurts are less obvious but more frequent after infancy and throughout the teenage years once the baby has passed the initial 6 years of life.
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If your baby starts showing the following signs regularly after every interval, chances are he/she is going through their growth period:
As discussed, the baby shows more signs of being hungry. If he was previously feeding every 3 hours, he may feed every 1-2 hours now in order to match the rate of his growing appetite. Formula-fed babies are going to feel hungry even after they finish a bottle of milk. Older babies who have started eating solid food will increase their intake per eating session or ask for more foods/snacks even if they never complained of hunger during that particular hour before.
The baby will seem fussier than usual. She may be tired of the process of feeding and growing or she may just need more of your attention than she previously did, whatever the reason she is going to cling to you. The common struggles include latching and unlatching with more struggle as they try to get more milk, breastfeeding babies are going to make it really hard as your milk production may not be up to their growth speed!
They will also be fussy during the night due to which they are going to feel extra annoyed in the morning (and you would too as you’d be losing sleep tending to them!). They’ll also make a big deal out of being put down from your arms, where previously they cherished the idea of laying down and playing on their own.
Growth spurt causes the release of the HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and this is produced in the brain during sleep. So it may be that in order to grow at a faster rate, the baby is going to sleep more than usual. In some cases though, the baby is going to find it harder to sleep, mostly in order to feed during the night; this can become a really hard test for patience. But it’s going to last only a few days so don’t worry about it always having to be this way.
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You don’t need to do anything unusual, just do what you’ve been already doing more consistently, i.e. feed. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you shouldn’t give up on it just yet, or look for other supplements; these things will make the baby fussier and crankier and make the phase harder for the both of you.
Just train your breasts that they’re required to make more milk to feed the baby. It’s not going to be easy, it’ll take a lot of your time and energy; make sure you are assigning your other chores for someone else to take care of as you pay more attention to your baby (as if you weren’t already!).
Sometimes, these signs may not suggest a growth spurt but rather something else entirely so lookout for the signs of growth in order to be sure. If your baby seems heavier while being picked up, his adorable outfit is tighter than before, and he spoils the diapers more than usual, then the growth spurt is well on its way. It’s just going to last a few days so be patient; until the next growth spurt hits that is.
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