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Baby Growth Spurts: When and How To Deal With Them

Here’s a breakdown of what growth spurts are and how you can better deal with them.


As you hold your tiny newborn baby, you know they will get bigger - but what you may not realize is just how fast that will happen. Just 40 weeks before your baby was born they were too tiny to be seen clearly by the naked eye, and in 40 weeks they have grown to be between 6-8 pounds on average. After they are born, the growing doesn’t stop and they will hit five growth spurts in their first year.

Each baby is different, but most babies will typically hit the growth spurts at three weeks, six weeks, three months, six months, and nine months. Not sure what it means when your baby “hits a growth spurt”? Here’s a breakdown of what it means and how you can better deal with them!

What is a growth spurt?  

A growth spurt is when your little one will grow quickly and suddenly and a short amount of time. In other words, if you wake your little one up one day and it seems like they have grown an inch and gained a pound overnight - it’s likely they have hit a growth spurt! Growth spurts usually only last for a few days, but a few of the signs can leave you wondering what is happening to your baby. 

What are the signs of a growth spurt?   

  • They can’t seem to get to eat. If you had your baby on a feeding schedule previously, they might be throwing it out the window for a few days, it may seem like you can’t keep up with their food demands.  If you are bottle feeding your baby, they may seem fussy and unsatisfied after they finish the bottle. For nursing moms, it may mean your baby will seek additional feedings for a few days.  It can be easy to worry that you may not be producing enough milk when this happens, but don’t worry - it’s normal for your baby to nurse more and seem a little less satisfied during a growth spurt.   
  • You see other signs of development. When your baby masters certain skills like clapping, grasping a toy - or for older babies rolling over, it could be a sign that they are also hitting a growth spurt. As your baby grows, so does their brain and their ability to do more.  
  • They need more rest. In order to grow, your baby’s body is producing growth hormones, especially while they are sleeping. Their bodies are also working over time, duplicating cells and make the most of the nutrition they are getting so they can grow. If your baby seems to want to nap a little longer or sleep in during the morning, it’s probably best to let them get the additional rest.
  • They want more rest, but they are up at night. While your baby does need more reset, it’s possible they will be waking a few times during the night. In addition to more rest, they need more food so if they wake, it’s likely they will want to eat.  
  • They seem moody and cranky. Since a rapid period of growth can cause little ones to need a combination of more sleep and more food, it can also make them a little crabby.  If your little one seems a bit off with their mood and it’s not a cold or teething a growth spurt might be the cause.  

How do you deal with a growth spurt?

Unlike a cold, a growth spurt isn’t something you want to prevent and you can’t give medication for it to soothe the symptoms, but there are a few things you can do to make it a little easier to cope. First, understand that you will be a bit more drained than usual during a growth spurt - especially if you are breastfeeding.

Drink plenty of water and let go of some of the little things - take a nap instead of making sure all the laundry is caught up, or ask a friend to come over and give you a hand for a little while. If you have a week full of events when that growth spurt hits, don’t hesitate to cut out what you can. The growth spurt should be over within a few days, so hang in there - you and your baby will make it though!  

If it’s been a few days and you aren’t totally sure that the changes you are seeing in your little one are due to a growth spurt, don’t fret. Keep track of dirt and wet diapers - if you are still seeing plenty of those, and it seems like your little one is gaining some weight, you can be confident that a growth spurt has hit and you should be back to normal within a few days.  

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