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4 Signs Your Baby Is Going Through a Growth Spurt

by | November 9, 2018

In the first 12 months of life, the average baby grows a mindblowing 10 inches.
Babies experience short bursts of rapid height and weight gain. Every child is different, so it’s impossible to say if or when a growth spurt will occur, says Clare Bush, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center.

What is a growth spurt?

It typically happens every 3-4 weeks. There can also be on around age 10-14 days old. The exact ages can vary, but they typically happen around 2-4 weeks, then 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months.

Some common signs are increased hunger, sleep pattern changes, crankiness, and out of sorts.

Here are some signs that your little darling could be having a growth spurt.

1. Your baby is always hungry.

Right when you’ve gotten baby onto a feeding schedule, all of a sudden wants to eat around the clock. In a breastfed infant, this will probably end up being two to four days of back to back nursing. A formula-fed baby might still be hungry after finishing a bottle.

“Everything is revved up in the first year of life. The metabolism is quick, the frequency of needing feeds is quick,” says Dr. Joshua May, a pediatric endocrinologist at Los Angeles Medical Center at Kaiser Permanente to “Those calories are going toward growth, whether it be building reserves of fat cells or building muscle or—with the help of hormones—actually physically changing the structure of bones.” Helpful perspective when on-demand feeding gets rough.

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2. Your baby’s sleep patterns are out of whack.

Some parents find that their babies sleep more during growth spells, while others sleep less. Sleep plays a vital role in the production of the primary growth hormone, aptly named “growth hormone.” So stick to the old adage of “never wake a sleeping baby” and maybe try and get some stuff done while your arms are free, that is if your baby will let you put them down.

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3. Your baby has turned into a cranky pants.

This could be because an extra hungry or tired baby will tell you about it. Do babies experience growing pains? “I think it stands to reason that if there’s major growth spurt going, that tendons and muscles are being stretched in the body and that might be associated with some pain,” says Dr. May. “We certainly see that all the time in the older age range.”

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4. Your baby has new tricks to show off.

It’s quite possible that the new tricks your baby has learned are because of the growth of your baby’s brain during these growth spurts. A baby’s brain physically enlarges along with the rest of her body as she learns to navigate the world, causing her skull to grow and fuse in turn. 

As always if feel that your baby is not acting themselves you should call your healthcare provider.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]



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