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You are here: Home > Baby > Baby Care & Health

4 Signs Your Baby Is Having a Growth Spurt

by Alison Wood | April 17, 2013 12:00 AM
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Just as things begin to calm down, your newborn begins to cry more and suck her fingers like she is hungry. You just fed her an hour ago. How could she be hungry again?

During a baby's first year a very important change is going on. Growing, growing and more growing. You can expect to anticipate these growth spurts at one and three weeks, six and eight weeks, three months, six months and nine months.

How can you know your bambino is having a growth spurt? Watch out for these clues:

Your baby wants an all-you-can eat, all day buffet.
Your little bundle has been consuming breastmilk or formula about every 2-3 hours. Now, she is showing hunger cues a lot more often. No worries. Just feed her until she is full and satisfied. The extra breast-milk will increase stimulation of your breasts and aid in producing more milk. The extra formula will, well, just cost more. But, in reality it should only be a few ounces more than normal. No major change is predicted in a growth spurt. Just give your little one a few more ounces to help her body adjust to the growth. When your little one is older, she may also want more jarred foods, snacks and juice.

Your baby sleeps less at night.
During the peak of these growth spurts, your baby may decide she also wants some grub in the middle of the night. Your older baby may wake up earlier in the morning and at naps. If you do have to get up in the middle of the night and feed your baby, make it as uneventful as possible. Very little interaction, low lights and almost no noise will help her fall back asleep quickly and encourage her to sleep through the night. If you make middle of the night feedings a big deal, she may want to wake up for the fun of it. Save your cuddling, rocking and singing for daytime feedings.

Your baby is more crabby.
Your bambino has made it crystal clear that she is not a happy camper. If you're breastfeeding, your little one may fuss as she tries to latch on quickly -- but never quick enough. She may scream as you try to aid her in latching on. To avoid this stressful moment, feed her a little earlier than usual during the growth spurt. That way she is not excessively hungry when you begin to feed her. A calm baby has a much more productive feeding and is less likely to experience gas and tummy troubles.

Your baby sleeps more.
This may sound contradictory to your baby sleeping less at night, but your little one may actually sleep longer at naps. If your bambino is waking up earlier as mentioned above, she is most likely waking up earlier due to hunger. However, if your little one is sleeping longer it is simply because her body needs more rest as it is working hard to grow.

What can you do if your baby is experiencing a growth spurt?

Stay calm and prepare to go with the flow. If she is hungry, feed her. If she is more tired, let her rest.
During the first growth spurt, which is typically the first week of life, you are adjusting to a whole new world. Consider asking for help from family and friends. Most people are happy to bring over a meal after the baby arrives. They know you need to rest and so does the baby.

Put off spring cleaning until after the baby has finished the growth spurt. You are going to be doing a lot less sleeping and a lot more feeding. You need to catch as many zzzz's as you can squeeze in! Don't worry! You can always do spring cleaning in the fall, and probably you and the hubby will be the only ones that know your dirty secret. Focus on your little one's needs as well as your body's needs to work through these growth spurts. Remember, your baby is growing! That is something to be celebrated. Healthy growth is one of the major signs of a healthy child. You are blessed!

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.

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