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How to handle baby growth spurts

Baby growth spurts can make feeding, sleeping and scheduling more challenging


If your normally cheerful and easy-going baby suddenly seems to be hungry all the time, he or she might be going through a growth spurt.


Newborn baby growth spurts last for a few days.  Babies are often hungry, tired, and irritable during this time.  But they shouldn’t have signs of illness like a fever or vomiting.


Growth spurts are perfectly normal for newborns.  As a new parent, it is natural to wonder if you’re feeding your baby enough when they go through one of these growth spurts.


A Baby Growth Spurt


A baby growth spurt is a sudden increase in your infant’s growth.  Baby growth spurts are usually accompanied by a brief time of increased feeding.


You may notice that certain favorite outfits aren’t fitting any longer.  Or your baby’s sleep slack is getting too cozy.


Your baby might also seem to be fussier than normal.  He or she may be waking up from naps more easily or sleeping less at night.


Growth spurts generally don’t last for more than two to three days.


However, growth spurt days can feel unending.  Don’t worry, it’s only temporary.  And there are some things you can do to help ease the fussiness.


What to Do During a Baby Growth Spurt


One of the most important things you can do during a growth spurt is to ramp up your baby’s feedings.


It is best to “over-feed” rather than “under-feed” your baby through these spurts if he or she is hungry.

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If your baby is older than 6 months, you may want to talk to your pediatrician about frequent growth spurts that disrupt sleep.


You may not need to feed your older baby during the night if your baby has had no issues gaining weight.


If you are breastfeeding, growth spurts actually help ​increase your milk supply.


Do not feel like you need to give up on nursing during these periods.  Although increased breastfeeding can be tough on your body.


When Growth Spurts Occur


The early weeks of breastfeeding can be the most intense.  Increased periods of feeding during these weeks is common. This is known as cluster feeding.


Cluster feedings are important in increasing your baby’s weight early in the newborn stage.


In your baby’s first year, it is possible that you will see four to six growth spurts.


These baby growth spurts can occur sometime around 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months.


All babies grow and develop uniquely.  They won’t all follow the same pattern.  Don’t assume a baby growth spurt will happen on a predictable timeline.


When to Be Concerned


There are a few things to look out for if you’re worried your baby is not getting enough to eat.


Keep an eye on diapers. After your baby is older than 5 days old, you should expect 5 to 6 wet diapers a day.


Monitor your baby’s sleep.  If your baby is having more difficulty sleeping than usual, try some sleep adjustments to help baby sleep better through a growth spurt.


It’s a good sign if your baby is pooping regularly.  If not, try some adjustments on the poop front to make your life easier.


Also check baby’s weight.  Weight checks are often done as a quick nurse’s visit.