How To Know When Your Baby Is Going Through A Growth Spurt?

How Do You Know When Your Baby Is Going Through A Growth Spurt

A growth spurt, also known as a frequency day, is a season in a baby’s life where she will put on weight and grow in length quicker than usual. Moreover, this season may also be about perfecting a new skill that she has been working on in a while.

So, how will you know that your baby is going through a growth spurt? When your baby is going through a growth spurt, the most observable thing that you will notice is if your baby is feeding more whether she is breastfed or bottle-fed. She will be asking for more! If this happens, you may want to see your doctor so he can monitor your baby’s growth. So, look out for the numbers on the scale!

If you are breastfeeding your baby, you will notice that she is nursing longer. If she is bottle-fed, she may ask for more, like she is still starving, after the feeding session.

While those are the visible signs of growth spurts, some babies are discreet of their experience. You’ll only notice them when you feel an extra weight while carrying your baby. Also, they might have outgrown their favorite onesies just like that. Check that out!

What Are The Signs To Look Out For If My Baby Is Going Through Growth Spurt?

It just makes sense that your baby would want to eat more if she’s undergoing a growth spurt. She needs all the nutrients that she can get from her food intake for her quick and exciting growth. If you are feeding her eight times a day, (brace yourself) do not be too surprised if she goes to 12 to 14 times more a day during a growth spurt.

If your baby is feeding on formula, she may still be hungry after one bottle. You may want to add an extra ounce or two for her. She may go back to her regular feeding after her growth spurt. Or she may stick with the extra ounce. Remember, she is growing, so you don’t need to worry that much.

Feeding routine

Your baby may be out-of-sorts during a growth spurt. Her feeding routine may change just as her appetite increases. You may be disoriented at first but you will get the flow of it.

She may feed at different times during the day and even the night compared with her regular schedule before. Just watch out for your baby’s signals and you will know when to feed her.

You may find yourself quite a handful at this time so ask for help with the extra chores. Your family will surely understand that you can’t handle everything on your own especially if the baby demands more of your attention and help.

Sleeping habits

Growing is a tiring and effortful process! So, what do you do when you get tired? You rest and sleep. And that’s precisely how babies feel. They are exhausted from all the growing, so their body demands more sleep.

Before or during a growth spurt, your baby may be sleeping like a rock. You may observe that she sleeps longer than usual and she’s waking up less at night. And that’s normal. She does these things because she is conserving her energy for her growth.

"If your baby sleeps longer, this means you can also rest longer. So, sleep longer! Take our advice and make the most of it. After all, you deserve it, mama!"

Do not wake her up to be fed or else she will be crankier than ever. Just wait for her to wake up and ask for food. Do not worry; she will make up for the meal that she missed.

According to an expert, sleeping helps with the physiological transformations that are important for the baby’s growth. So, sleeping longer is no wonder for babies who are growing.

Moreover, there is a protein called Human Growth Hormone or HGH that is produced by the human brain during his or her sleep. This protein is vital for our growth so allowing your baby to take longer naps may produce HGH and boost her development.

But this is not the case for all babies; some babies may take shorter naps during growth spurts and wake up more frequently during the night. This is normal, too, because babies’ growth patterns and reactions may vary from each other.

Fortunately, growth spurts last for only a few days for younger babies and everything will be back to your normal routine after that. It will be over before you know it.

Behavioral changes

She’ll sure be cranky during the period of her growth spurt, but this will only last for a few days. You may find that she’s weepy and fussy most of the time, but please be more patient with your little one.

The mood swings are maybe because of the overwhelming changes and growth that she is experiencing. Extra cuddling and allowing her to rest if she desires may soothe her for the meantime.

A theory also rose that these behavioral changes may indicate that your baby is experiencing a developmental leap. She may be perfecting a new skill like rolling over, crawling, or talking. She’ll just surprise you one day. Isn’t that exciting for you?

The crankiness should just pass in a few days. But if you are worried about your baby’s behavior, consult your doctor and let him assess the situation.

When Do Growth Spurts Happen?

Gr​​​​owth spurts occur at different times in a baby’s life. But according to experts, they are more likely to happen at the prime seasons in your baby’s first year. Here are the timelines that you need to watch out for:

  • At two weeks
  • At three weeks
  • At six weeks
  • At three months
  • At six months
  • At nine months

Growth spurts may last for one to two days for young babies, and up to a week for older babies. According to research, babies who undergo growth spurts become fussy and unsettled, so you need to pay more attention to their demands.

If your baby doesn’t show any signs of a growth spurt, don’t worry because each baby has a different growth pattern. She may have undergone this without being so clingy. That’s a relief for you actually!

Also, growth spurts don’t stop after their first year. They continue to experience growth spurts during their toddler years through their teenage years.

How Do I Deal With Baby Growth Spurts?

  • Clear your schedule – Your baby may need some VIP treatment (more than the usual VIP treatment that you are already giving) during this time. It is best that you cancel any meetings, appointments, and visitations, so you can focus on meeting the needs of your baby during this period.

    If you are working, it is best to ask for a day off. Anyway, you may not be able to focus on doing your “today’s tasks” if you are thinking about your baby and how she is doing.                                                                                                                         
  • Invest in a good baby carrier – Aside from a diaper bag, a baby carrier is a good investment for parents, too! As your baby goes through a growth spurt, she may demand to be held and caressed as much as possible. You can train her to be comfortable in the baby carrier to help you get through these hard times.

    This way, she can snuggle close to you and fall asleep anytime while you’re keeping your hands-free. You can move comfortably around the house and do small chores that need to be done.                                                                                                     
  • Follow your baby’s lead – As your baby’s appetite increases, she’ll want to be fed more. Just follow her lead. If she signals that she is hungry, do not hesitate to feed her. Remember that a growing baby is a hungry baby.                                                 
  • Stock baby clothes – Remember that you tuck her in at night with her PJs on and the next day, you swear it had shrunk on her. Relax. Your baby just went through a growth spurt. It is important to stock extra and bigger clothes in your closet.               
  • Take care of your breasts (for breastfeeding moms) – Soothe your breasts by massaging them every once in a while. Your breasts may feel heavy because of the increased supply of milk so you better keep those milk moving so your breasts will be relieved as well as your hungry baby.

    You can also reward yourself with a warm shower. This can relax your muscles and keep you going. You can also use cold packs or cabbage leaves to soothe inflammation or swelling if it gets to that point.                                                              
  • Listen to your body - As you follow your baby’s lead, listen also to your body at the same time. What you need to do to keep up with her demand is to eat healthy and regular meals, drink a lot of liquid, and ask for an extra hand to help you with the chores if necessary. Try to get some sleep if you can. You got this, mama!
    Do not deny your baby the extra feeds, long naps, and sweet cuddles. Again, just listen closely to her coos and woes!

If you are breastfeeding, you may be overwhelmed by the demand of your baby. But do not get the wrong idea to feed your baby with formula just because you think that you are not giving enough milk to her. This will prevent your body from recognizing the need to make more milk for your baby during the growth spurt.

The amazing thing about mother’s breasts is they work on supply and demand basis. If your baby demands more milk, your milk supply will increase, too. Just keep it going, mama!

Are Growth Spurts The Same As Feeding Spurts?

They are not the same but they can be related. Feeding spurts happen when your baby is hungrier than usual. During this time, she feeds longer than usual.

If she’s breastfed, she may linger longer and fuss at the breast. If she’s bottle-fed, she will show signs of hunger even after feeding time.

Unexpectedly, there isn’t a lot of research connecting these two spurts. But it just makes sense that when your baby eats more, she’ll grow more, right?

Is It A Growth Spurt Or Something Else?

Growth spurts can make babies cranky and moody but they don’t cause sicknesses like fevers, coughs, colds, and unexplainable weakness. If this happens, this may be signs that your baby is ill. Call your doctor to check on your baby.

A growth spurt is not the only reason for a baby’s crankiness. There are cases like teething, minor illnesses and the like that can affect your baby’s behavior, feeding, and sleeping patterns.

How To Tell If My Baby’s Growth Is On Track?

How Do You Know When Your Baby Is Going Through A Growth Spurt

While outgrowing a onesie is a good indicator that your baby is growing and a leap of a number on the weighing scale means that she’s feeding well, it will be better to ask for professional help to properly track your baby’s health.

Unfortunately, babies don’t come with manuals and instructions. They were not born the same. So, their growth patterns are different from your friend’s baby and the others.

The Personal Child Health Record (PCHR) is a standard record book that documents the child’s growth and development, previous and current condition, checkups and lab results (if there are any), and significant milestones.

This will make tracking your baby’s growth easier for the parents and the doctor. You will know if your baby is progressing well or needs a little boost for her development.

Regular check-ups may vary from one baby to another depending on her condition as well. But here’s what to expect for the health monitoring:

5-8 days old babies: Newborn screening actually varies from state to state. They are also subject to change anytime depending on the advancement of their technology and the condition of their community.

Babies are being heel-pricked to get a blood sample to be sent to the lab to be tested for several conditions. The disorders below are usually included in the screening:

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU) – This affects about 1 in 10,000 babies. A baby with this condition may develop brain damage because of the blocks of protein called phenylalanine that accumulate in the blood. This can also cause learning difficulties for the baby. But an early treatment can prevent disability and help babies lead a normal life in the future.                                                                                                 
  • Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT) – This affects 1 in 3,500 babies. This condition is caused by an undeveloped thyroid that may lead to abnormal mental and physical development. But an early treatment is also available for this condition.                      
  • Cystic fibrosis (CF) – This happens in every 1 in 2,500 babies. This is a condition where a mucus is being produced much thicker than normal resulting in infection in the lungs, and difficulties with digesting food. There are babies who resulted in positive only to find out that they are just healthy carriers. If you are just a healthy carrier, you will not be affected at all and your body will function normally.
  • Galactosaemia – This affects 1 in 40,000 babies. This condition is caused by the buildup of galactose (a type of sugar in milk) in the blood. This needs an immediate treatment or else the baby may become very sick and die.                                          
  • Sickle Cell Disease – This disease is a blood disorder that’s inherited from the parents. Babies who have this disease may have damages to their vital organs like the lungs and kidneys. This may even lead to death if not treated.                               
  • Biotinidase deficiency – Babies who have this deficiency may experience mild to severe seizures, intellectual disability, poor muscle control, immune system damages, and hearing loss. This may even lead to coma and death if not addressed immediately.                                                                                                                   
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) – This condition can affect both boys and girls. This condition affects the development of the genitals and may lead to the death of the babies due to the loss of salt from the kidneys.                                          
  • Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) – This condition may cause intellectual and physical disability, and even to death if not detected and treated immediately.
    Babies with MSUD have little appetite and mostly fussy. And their pee smell like sweet maple syrup.                                                                                                        
  • Tyrosinemia – Babies with this condition have a hard time processing amino acid tyrosine. If this accumulates in the body, this may cause language skill difficulties, intellectual disability, liver problems and even to death from liver failure.
    Treatment for this may include liver transplant for worse cases.                                        
  • Hearing Screening – Most states are now requiring a hearing screening for newborns before they are sent home. Babies start to develop their speaking and language skills from their early months. So, it is important to know that their hearing is okay to off-set problems in the future.
    Other tests may be conducted depending on your family history as well. Talk to your doctor about this.

10-14 days old: This time the doctor will just review the previous results from the screening. If you have concerns about your baby, this is the best time to consult your doctor. You can also ask about breastfeeding and other related stuff that will help you become a good parent to your little one.

One month old: Your doctor may conduct a hearing test for your baby at this time. Your baby’s hearing may have fully developed at this age so it is the perfect time to test those ears!

6-8 weeks old: Prepare your baby for a full physical examination. The doctor will check her weight, height, and head circumference. He will also check her hearing, eye coordination, hip movement, and overall health in general.

8, 12, and 16 weeks old: Your baby is now ready for the vaccines! Vaccinations will help your baby be protected from illnesses and diseases.

12 months old: The doctor will check the milestones that your baby has achieved like crawling, walking, talking, and more. This is also a good time to weigh and measure your baby to see if the numbers are up!

12-13 months: Time for another round of vaccinations for your baby. Be more ready for today’s session. Your baby might remember how it felt the last time and she might refuse to go or be vaccinated. Bring out a lollipop if it helps!

2-2.5 years: You will have another health review at this time. The doctor will encourage you to talk about how your child is doing. If you have concerns, you can let him know so he can assess the condition of your child and help you.

The doctor will also check on your child’s development such as speed and movement, vision and hearing, and social and behavioral skills.

Weighing And Measuring Your Baby

As a mother, one of your goals for your newborn is to feed her as much as needed so she will gain weight. During regular checkups, your baby’s weight and height will be monitored by your doctor.

Babies come in different sizes but the ideal weight gain for newborns is the following:

  • From 0 to 6 months, your baby’s growth will be remarkable! Your baby might grow from ½ to 1 inch a month and an additional of 140 to 200 grams a week. She is expected to double her birth weight when she reached 5 months old.
  • From 6 to 12 months, she might grow for about 1 centimeter a month and an additional of up to 140 grams a week. Your baby is expected to triple her birth weight when she reached 1 year old.

Related Questions

  • What are the symptoms of a growth spurt?
    The most common sign for a growth spurt is when the baby is hungrier and feeds more than the usual. Most of the babies also sleep longer than their usual hours. They are cranky and fussy most of the time but you just need to reassure them by cuddling and meeting their needs.
  • How long does a growth spurt last for a baby?
    Fortunately, growth spurts don’t last long. For younger babies, they only last for one to two days. And for older babies, they last for a few days up to a week or so. After this, your baby will be back to her normal routine. You might not realize that it’s already over.
  • Do babies cry during growth spurts?
    Yes, they cry because they want attention and comfort, especially during this season. They can only express their need through crying so you will know that they need you.
    Do not get too upset because this it will be over before you know it. Support your baby’s development by giving her the comfort that she needs during this time.

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