Growth spurts are inevitable in the first year of baby’s life. Did you know that babies typically triple their birth weight by 12 months of age? Just think if you had to triple your weight — you’d be eating a lot!
Typically, babies hit growth spurts around 6-7 days, 2-3 weeks, and 6-8 weeks. Sometimes they will have another few throughout the rest of the first year. How do you identify a growth spurt? You are usually blindsided by a sudden change in your feeding routine and baby’s behavior! Some signs of a growth spurt may be:
- increased feeding frequency
- longer time breastfeeding
- fussy or agitated behavior at the breast or between feedings
- more irritability when hungry
- an increased desire to be held
These changes in feeding routine and behavior usually last about 3-5 days. Your baby is using this time to communicate with your breast, since they stimulate an increase in your supply by feeding more frequently. If your baby is going through a growth spurt, here are a few tips to help you through it:
- Get out of the house! Take a walk, run an errand, or walk through Target.
- Find a new TV series. Poll your friends for the latest favorite Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime series and set up camp on the couch! Grab some snacks, a few bottles of water, latch on your baby, and enjoy. When will you ever have permission for days of TV binge watching?
- Wear your baby. Grab your favorite sling or carrier. Sometimes baby will give you a little break if they stay close. Also, many moms have found comfortable breastfeeding positions while babywearing!
- Try breast compressions. These can be helpful when baby is irritable at the breast or cluster feeding.
- Break out the nipple cream. You may not have needed nipple cream since the first few day postpartum but with increased feeding frequency some moms find applying nipple cream very soothing.
Hang in there, momma! This, too, shall pass.
Signs of a growth spurt can also be symptoms of other issues like low milk supply or poor milk transfer. If you are concerned or unsure, search out the help of a skilled IBCLC.