When you are a parent you become more and more observant with almost everything that you see, hear and witness. This is even more so when it comes to your little ones. But this kind of mannerism that you will attain is a good thing, especially when you are to perceive your baby’s growth and development.
One of the many milestones that you will sooner or later experience with your baby is what we commonly call a newborn growth spurt. This particular milestone can be well observed, especially when you are very much attentive to your baby’s moves, routine, feeding, behavior and most especially, their physical appearance.
In addition to this milestone, there can be several other memorable moments that you baby will be experiencing. It can be as simple as longer naps or even more active “awake moments.” But always keep in mind that not all babies re the same. So you should expect the unexpected when it comes to your tiny bundle of joy.
If you are not that keen at spotting whether your baby is already undergoing this change, you need not to fret. There are other signs that can confirm that your baby is actually experiencing it. So you better take some notes as we go along this topic of ours.
This is probably the first thing that you will think of if you are observing a newborn growth spurt. Basically these growth spurts are very fast. So fast that sometimes you might not notice it and think of it as just a “not-so-good” day with your baby.
Each growth spurt length differs, depending on your baby. It can last for just one to two days. For others, it can take to as long as a week’s time. I remember when my daughter had her growth spurt, I had two totally sleepless nights with her.
I recall that she was really, really, REALLY clingy which is weird because I did not spoil her with too much carrying. Another thing is that she immediately gets hungry and for the whole two days, her feeding was so way off her usual schedule.
These are just some of the experiences I had with my daughter. And according to other moms out there, they also experienced the same thing with their little ones. So better observe for these sudden changes in your baby’s routine so that you will keep a tab on when do baby growth spurts happen.
If I could sum up all the possible signs that you can experience, I would say it would all boil down to four main categories. These are physical appearance, feeding, sleep pattern and finally behavior. Now to make it clearer, let’s talk about them one by one.
Do you think that your baby suddenly grew? When you carry them, did they suddenly become heavier? Did their clothes suddenly shrink? Yup, you are not imagining things. It actually is real. These are the sudden physical development of the newborn growth spurt that you thought was just you mind playing tricks on you.
Feeding the most common cue that your baby is experiencing growth spurt. Like what I have previously mentioned, they will have a very “un-routinely” feeding pattern. They will also become more fussy and hungry during these times.
There is also difference when it comes to baby growth spurt in formula fed babies and breastfed newborns. For breastfed ones, they will demand more feeding time from you. It can be a total of almost twice the times you usually feed them. For formula fed babies, they tend to become insatiable even after finishing their bottle.
But do not let these sudden changes lead to an overfeeding fiasco. Keep them at their usual feeding amount, and if ever they would want more, make sure that they have a short pause from feeding. You can do so by burping them or changing their soiled diaper.
The sleep pattern changes of your baby correlates to their increased hunger episodes. They will most probably wake up more often in the wee hours of the night to because they are hungry. Just be patient and attend to their cues and needs.
A hungry plus sleep deprived baby equals a fussy and irritable baby. You will see that they become clingier and would want to be carried more often than usual. I would not blame them. I would get grumpy as well if I am always hungry or if I lack my much needed sleep.
Once again, they will probably demand for additional feeding just to “soothe” their irritability. Don’t give in to it, especially if you know that you have just fed them. You can use other methods of soothing like rocking them to sleep, cuddling them or even putting on their favorite lullabies to help send them to sleep.
We cannot pinpoint exactly the specific timeline as to when you would experience these growth spurts. But what we know for sure is that all these growth spurt episodes will happen within the first year of your baby’s lives. Since each development is unique, your experience with your child’s growth spurt may differ from mine and other moms as well.
But usually, we can safely say that we can all be able to observe these in as so called “six months growth spurt” stage. This means that you can, more or less, be able to observe (for the first time) these signs within the first six months of your newborn’s life.
The most common times that your baby may experience these signs are during the first two, three, six weeks, three months and finally the sixth month. For me, my daughter had her growth spurt during the first sixth week and the third month of her first year. I also remembered that she had just two days of growth spurt for the sixth week and around three to four days on her third month.
Each growth spurt experience of hers was different from the other. The first one was purely about fussy and sleepless nights and non-stop feeding demand. I had two completely sleepless nights (and days) when she had her first growth spurt.
Her second episode was less stressful. She maintained her feeding routine but she was still waking up during late nights wanting to be fed. What I did was I only gave her a minimal amount of milk just enough to satisfy her but not too much as to overfeed her.
What I noticed on the second growth spurt was that she really grew. When I said really, I mean really grew in length, weight and size. She suddenly was unable to fit in her onesies overnight and I am not exaggerating on this. I even called my husband so that he can see as well that our baby suddenly grew. When I carried her, I also felt she got heavier. I thought it was just my arms getting too tired at first. But when I asked for my husband to substitute for me, he also felt our baby girl was heavier.
These are all normal and natural changes that your baby will encounter. It is their body’s way of saying “I am growing fast and healthy”. But it does not mean that a baby who does not experience it is not health or might be sick. This is why I keep on reiterating that each and every developmental growth of a child is unique and special.
Some babies may experience all of these signs and some with no signs at all. They would just become bigger and heavier without any accompanied signs that you can observe. The best way to know that your baby is on track with their growth is your routine Pediatric checkups. There you will have concrete data that assures you’re that your baby is healthy and growing properly.
The best thing that you can use in gauging your child’s health and development is your gut instinct. Our own “mommy instinct” is always right. If you feel that your baby is as healthy as a horse even though there are no signs that manifest growth spurt, then they probably are. Just trust your “mommy senses” and you can’t go wrong.
First time mom to a beautiful three year old daughter. I am very open to new, fun ideas and ways on how to take care of my child. I also believe that "kids are way smarter than what we give them credit for."