What is a growth spurt?
A growth spurt is a time during which your baby has a more intense period of growth in both height and weight. This will cause them to feed much more frequently, sleep either less or more than usual and become both fussy at the breast and fussy overall.
When can you expect to see growth spurts?
- 7-10 days
- 2-3 weeks
- 6-8 weeks
- 3-4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
It’s important to note that these are average ages on when you may expect growth spurts, not all babies will go through growth spurts at the same time or at these specific ages. Growth spurts also don’t just end after 1 year of age, children will continue to go through them until their teen years.
How long do they last?
Although this widely varies from child to child, you can expect a growth spurt to last anywhere between 3 days to a week.
What can you expect?
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Decreased or increased hunger
- Cluster feeding
- Soft breasts
- Fussiness at the breast
- Slight temporary oversupply after the growth spurt have passed
How can you help?
- Breastfeed frequently
- Don’t offer supplementation
- Don’t introduce early solids
- Skin-to-skin contact
During a growth spurt, it may feel like your baby is suddenly very hungry and your breastmilk is no longer nutritious or filling enough, some people may even think their breastmilk have dried up due to their baby being very fussy and feeding a lot more frequently than usual. Growth spurts and the behavior that comes with it is completely normal and it has nothing to do with your milk supply, in fact, bottle fed babies also go through growth spurts. It’s best to be educated on this matter and to know when to expect growth spurts.
If your baby is showing the signs of adequate milk intake, your baby is getting enough milk.
Give your baby a few days, of it still continues after a week, or if at any time your baby is not having enough wet and dirty diapers or is showing any signs of inadequate milk intake, contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to assess you and your baby and help with a treatment plan if necessary.