Growth Spurts and How to Face Them

Growth spurts lead to crises, and they're a completely normal part of child development. Learn what they are and the best ways to face these challenges of motherhood.
Growth Spurts and How to Face Them

Last update: 07 December, 2018

When you have your baby in your arms, you feel strong emotions that you want to hold onto forever. However, your little one will eventually grow up and with that, you’ll have to face some changes and challenges, like growth spurts. 

This is completely normal. It means that your baby is growing up.

What are growth spurts?

Growth spurts, or crises, are the moments when babies grow in height. Consequently, they feel dissatisfied with the amount of milk they get and demand even more.

During these periods, it’s normal for babies to feel uncomfortable and cry a lot as a way to show that they’re unhappy.

This natural process makes mothers produce more milk to meet their child’s needs. Keep in mind that the baby’s requirements regulate the production of breastmilk. This means that all of this happens naturally.

Why do they happen?

These stages in babies’ lives, as the name suggests, signal growth. Babies grow and demand more food to give them more energy. They need this energy for neurological, motor, and psychological development.

Also, the mother’s body produces more milk to help suit the baby’s needs.

How often do growth spurts occur?

Every baby is different and has specific needs. Therefore, the time interval for growth spurts will vary. However, they tend to be more frequent during the first few months. In general, they occur around these times:

Between 15 and 20 days

At birth, babies usually have more or less regular needs with predictable sleep patterns. However, by the third week, this pattern changes, along with the babies’ attitude.

For about 2 or 3 days, babies will want to eat every 30 minutes. In addition, they’ll be upset if the milk is taken away.

Growth Spurts and How to Face Them

Between 6 and 7 weeks

About 40 days after babies are born, milk changes to a saltier taste. Again, babies will experience a crisis. Babies become tense and irritable while adapting to this change. This phase usually lasts about 1 week.

3 months

Around this time, many mothers stop breastfeeding after the baby starts rejecting it. At this age, babies know how to feed and eat quickly. However, external stimuli cause them to be distracted and stop eating.

At this point, babies understand that their mom can produce milk when they ask for it. This is caused by various processes in the mother’s body. In addition, this process can happen for up to 3 or 4 weeks.

6 months

After 6 months, growth crises are less frequent. This is because babies start eating solid food. Therefore, they’re more manageable, and their mother can understand what they need better.

“Babies grow and demand more food to give them more energy. They need this energy for neurological, motor, and psychological development.”

1 year and older

After 12 months, new growth spurts happen that increase the number of times babies want to be held. In this period, this happens often. Babies are looking for comfort and support from their mother.

What to do during crises

This condition can make new mothers feel frustrated, worthless and hopelessTherefore, you need to pay attention to the psychological issues you’re going through. Make sure to face it with patience, affection, and love.

Some tips from experts are:

  • Give your baby breastmilk when he wants and needs it. If your goal is to breastfeed exclusively, avoid bottle feeding at all times. This can hinder milk production.
  • Eat a little more food. This way, you can have the energy and calories needed to produce enough milk for your baby.
Growth Spurts and How to Face Them
  • Remember that it’s only temporary. Keep in mind that this situation will only last for a short period of time.
  • If your child doesn’t want to eat, don’t force him. Don’t let him cry because he’s hungry. If he’s sad, he’ll be more resistant to eat.

Finally, keep in mind that the natural growth process involves stress and crying. Therefore, understanding this process can help you use the right tools and act in the best way.

In conclusion, growth spurts mean that babies are growing up to be healthy children. Being prepared can help you feel less frustrated by the development process.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.