While the science is still out on growth spurts, you only have to ask a parent and they’ll tell you they’re a very real and potentially tiring time for mothers and babies. Growth spurts are another way to describe the fussy and clingy stages that all babies go through at different times.
When your baby is in one of these developmental phases, their desire for breastmilk grows substantially. You may find your child attached to the breast for what seems like an eternity, but it’s important to know that these are normal and healthy periods for a growing baby.
What is a growth spurt?
Whether it’s physical or developmental growth, our babies seem to require more of our love and attention when going through one of these phases. Generally lasting for 2-3 days, a growth spurt occurs a few times during the first 12 months of their lives and then less frequently as they get older.
The most noticeable time for a growth spurt will come during the first few days at home with your baby, and then again at a week, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, then 3, 4, 6, and 9 months. Obviously, there’s no set schedule for when they occur, but these are common times which mothers report a change.
Signs your baby is going through a growth spurt
Knowing when your baby is going through a growth spurt can make the process a lot easier for both you and bub, so here are a few things to look out for that may indicate one is arriving or already here.
- Frequent desire to nurse, even if they have just finished a feed
- Showing signs of crankiness, clinginess, and general irritability
- Waking often more at night to feed
How you can help your baby during these stages
If you suspect your baby is going through a growth spurt, pay extra attention for these few days. Whenever they want a feed, offer it to them, and be sure to dish out lots of extra cuddles for their cranky stages too.
At this point, most mothers worry that there’s something wrong with their milk supply and fret that they’re not giving their baby enough milk. Our bodies are amazing things, though, and will simply adapt to accommodate what our babies need.