I bet you already know what growth spurts are because most parents do.
You might have HEARD about it somewhere. Better still, you’ve SEEN it happen.
And you’re just wondering HOW it happens.
WHEN it happens.
Or WHY it happens at all?
Now if you’re very observant, you might have noticed it occur in different babies at different points in their life.
So, you’re thinking…
When do babies usually have growth spurts?
If it is something that happens at a particular time in a child’s life.
Or it just happens randomly.
Well, all that questions and more will be clarified TODAY within the next couple of minutes.
So, I suggest you don’t skip a single word in this guide.
That said, let’s get started at once.
What Are Growth Spurts?
Most parents I’ve met know a thing or two about growth spurts. But if you don’t, it’s okay. Because in this section, we’ll be taking care of that for you.
But if you’re one of those lucky parents who know about growth spurts, then I suggest you skip to the next section.
Growth spurts are those periodic moments in a child’s life when they experience rapid physical growth in height and weight.
Sometimes you feel like your baby is doing a lot of growing within a short period.
You can’t seem to understand how you keep buying new clothes for them as they keep outgrowing the ones you bought only a month ago or a few weeks ago.
You might think it’s your imagination playing a fast one on you, but no, it’s just a growth spurt doing its thing.
As growth spurts happen, you’ll also notice certain irregularities in your baby.
I mean things like increased demand for feeding, longer hours of sleep, more frequent naps, increased midnight waking, etc.
But not to worry, they are all part of the process.
While growth spurts may seem rather long as you constantly try to deal with them, understand that they only last a few days to a week when it occurs at one point in a child’s life.
All these are pretty normal. A natural cause at best. It’s all part of the physical development of babies.
It’s also important to note that there is a tendency for every child to experience growth spurts at one or more points in their life, from infancy to young adulthood, until the child reaches physical maturity of about 15-20 years of age.
When Do Growth Spurts Occur in Babies
My baby is just three weeks, and recently, I have noticed changes in his body; he seems taller. Could it be growth spurts?
Yes, it is.
One rule you should know about growth spurts is the ‘3-6-9 rule.
The 3-6-9 rules:
- 3 weeks
- 6 weeks
- 9 weeks
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
Your baby is most likely to experience a growth spurt within this period, but there is a possibility that it may not happen at this exact time because, just as you know it, nothing is always certain with babies.
So the best you can do is pay close attention to your babies during this period.
‘At 2 weeks, I started noticing growth spurts on my baby. Is it normal?’
Yes, it is normal to experience it at 2 months because, in some cases, growth spurts vary depending on the baby.
One more thing, Growth spurts can be expected anytime from 10 days after birth.
How Do Growth Spurts Occur
First, babies’ growth spurts are considered natural occurrences relative to their body’s physical and biological (to an extent) outlook.
They’re part of the child’s development because their bones and entire muscular structure still form during this period.
So as these forms begin to fall in place, coupled with the action of other growth processes, it’s only natural that the baby’s body begins to exhibit noticeable changes in height and weight.
During the process, the babies grow 0.5 to 1 inch (1.5 – 2.5cm) each month from birth to 6 months and gain 5 to 7 ounces a week.
From 6 to 12 months, they grow an average of 3/8 inches per month.
Signs of Growth Spurts in Babies
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Increase demand for feeding
Changes In Sleep Patterns
The baby tends to sleep more during this period. A particular study was carried out, and it was discovered that during a growth spurt, babies might sleep up to four and a half hours more than usual.
There’s a reason behind that. A baby’s brain produces a protein called HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE(HGH) while sleeping.
Some babies sleep less during the day and more at night. It could be vice versa, though. In other words, you shouldn’t get worried about your baby’s change in sleep pattern.
Increase Demand For Feeding
Babies tend to feed more often during this process because they need nutrients for their growth. So, you should try and keep up with their demand.
Although, this doesn’t apply to all babies. Some eat less and sleep more, or vice versa.
It is a quality of being overly careful or extremely hard to please. Your baby can get fussy and cranky during this period. You could calm their fussiness by rocking them or putting on calm music.
Signs Of Fussiness In Babies
- The baby becomes sensitive to touch
- Barely naps
- Cries for no apparent reason. You might get confused at this point.
At What Age Is A Baby Most Fussy?
At 6 weeks.
It starts at 2 to 3 weeks, increases at 6 weeks, and goes by 3 to 4 months. When it starts, it usually lasts for 2 to 4 hours per day.
How To Soothe A Fussy Baby
- Rock them
- Sing a song
- Encourage breastfeeding
If your baby’s fussiness doesn’t stop after feeding or after some hours/days but instead starts vomiting and losing weight every day, you should see a doctor.
Duration Of Growth Spurts In Babies
Babies frequently undergo growth spurts in their infant stage and well into toddlerhood. However, they don’t usually last longer than three days but sometimes stretch up to a week.
It has different stages as your baby keeps on growing before getting to one year. At one year, the growth tends to slow down. Growth spurts in toddlers are less common.
How to handle growth spurts in babies
When your baby starts experiencing this process, it is normal not to know what to do. I will provide you with some tips, which will be much easier to tackle with less stress.
- Pay attention to any cue your baby gives. This is very important because, during this process, they most likely will need more attention.
- Feed your baby more. Ensure your baby gets all the nourishment they need for upcoming growth and development.
- Help your baby sleep
- Help them during their cranky and fussy period
Frequently Asked Questions
The whole concept of growth spurts has raised many questions in parenting and medical communities, creating many misleading misconceptions.
Therefore, I’d like to use the next few minutes to attend to some of the most common questions to clarify any further misconceptions or confusion. Some of these questions include:
Are Growth Spurts In Any Way Connected To Teething?
Ivy, my 6-month-old baby, is teething and has been running a temperature. Do you think she is going through growth spurts?
No. The signs of teething are not closely related to growth spurts.
Here are some signs of teething in babies
- Their gum becomes sore and red
- They develop a mild temperature
- Flushed cheeks
- They tend to rub their eyes during this period.
On that note, it’s safe to say that growth spurts have little or nothing to do with teething.
However, there could be a coincidence that your baby is teething and, at the same time, experiencing growth spurts.
If this happens to be your baby’s situation at any point, then you should pay attention to them just in case there’s a need for extra care or attention.
During Growth Spurts, Is Fever Expected?
Growth spurts have nothing to do with fever. If your baby is running a temperature, see a doctor.
Do Babies Feel Pains During Growth Spurts?
There is no evidence that babies suffer pains from growth spurts. It deals with an increment in physical appearance; this process shouldn’t cause any pain/harm to your baby.
Is It Compulsory For My Baby To Go Through This Process?
As I said, it’s a natural occurrence. But, unfortunately, nothing can be done to change its course whenever it occurs in a baby.
Unless one is prepared to go the extra mile to submit to advanced medical practices, which I seriously do not advise!
You have to understand that this is an experience your baby should naturally pass through if need be. On the contrary, you should be worried if your baby doesn’t experience this process.
A study was conducted by Emory University Anthropologist Michelle Lymph and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lymph said, “Babies grow in spurts, and at these times, the baby’s behavior changes. They are fussy, irritable, hungry, experience sleep disruptions, and finally, experience longer sleep.”
She further stated, “I would like my ongoing research to be a voice for infants who cannot express themselves in other ways that they are growing and for caregivers to understand that
the chemistry behind such growth spurts is responsible for these behavioral changes which temporarily require more comfort, support, and food.”
I noticed that some people still ask questions like:
Do growth spurts exist? Yes, it does, according to the research carried out. However, it mainly occurs during the first year of the baby’s life and doesn’t last for an extended period.