What Are the Telltale Signs of Baby Growth Spurts?

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Baby growth spurts are completely normal in an infant’s life, but they can take some getting used to. Just when it seems you and your newborn have a nice routine going, everything changes. Don’t worry: Your baby’s just growing, so read on to learn a little about what to expect.

What are the signs your baby is going through a growth spurt?

Some of the most common signs of growth spurts in babies include:

• Increased appetite
• Sleeping longer and more often
• Being cranky
• Being clingy

Why does my baby want to eat and sleep all the time?

Growing is hard work. Your baby is putting on bones and muscles, and that requires food. If you’re breastfeeding, your baby might go from eating 8 to 10 times a day to eating 12 to 14 times. Don’t worry about running out of breast milk because your breasts operate on a supply-and-demand basis. If you’re bottle-feeding and your baby is grumpy or fretful even after a meal, give him or her an extra ounce or two. As far as your baby’s sleeping habits go, sleep is the time the body uses to build and repair itself. Your baby will take extra naps to enable healthy growth.

When should I expect baby growth spurts to occur?

New moms have to hit the ground running: The first of several infant growth spurts happens within 7-10 days after birth when you’ve gotten a routine going. This first newborn growth spurt is probably the hardest for first-time parents and might feel frustrating, but don’t worry. You’re not doing anything wrong. Your baby’s crankiness is totally normal, and it won’t last for more than a few days. The next newborn growth spurts happen at 2 to 3 weeks, 4 to 6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months of age.

Are infant growth spurts only physical?

Absolutely not! Newborn growth spurts are also related to brain development. Our brains use approximately 20 percent of our calories for fuel. A lot of our baby’s new appetite goes into brain growth. After all, they’re figuring out everything from how to eat to how to interact in society. That’s a complex and hungry business that can sometimes be physically and mentally overwhelming. It’s no wonder your baby’s a little cranky during a growth spurt.

Baby growth spurts may disrupt your routine together but only for a while. Growth spurts are a great sign that everything is coming along just fine. Your baby will come out of a growth spurt ready to move on to bigger and better things.

Photo: Getty