Infant Growth Spurts
Breastfeeding Growth Spurts
Growth Spurts in Breastfed Babies
All babies will have infant growth spurts, also called
“frequency days.” Moms usually think that they have a low milk
supply during these periods of growth spurt. Their babies may demand to be breastfeed more often during the day and night, and may become very fussy.
Growth spurts can be very frustrating, but keep in mind that they are
temporary and essential for development.
When are infant Growth Spurts Most Commonly Seen?
Growth spurts occur most commonly during the first few days at home, at two, three and six weeks and then again at three and six months. These are just
guidelines, as some babies may experience growth spurts during other times, too.
Newborn growth spurts are common and sometimes confused with
Moms may notice toddler growth spurts as well.
What to Expect during these Growth Spurts - Baby's First Year…
- Baby will begin to feed more frequently.
- Breastfeeding fussiness as well as an increase in overall fussiness during the day.
- Changes in Baby's sleep pattern, and perhaps not sleeping at all.
- Infant growth spurts sleepiness: Some babies sleep a lot during a growth spurt. Moms shouldn’t worry about this. Just allow Baby to sleep. But babies that are younger than two weeks should be breastfed at least every two hours.
Read more on how to breastfeed a sleepy baby.
What Moms can do to Cope with Growth Spurts in Babies
- A mother may sometimes question whether her baby has had enough to drink. Take a walk after a feeding. If your baby is full, he/she will fall asleep after being taken for a walk outside. But if Baby continues to cry, he/she is probably still hungry.
- Don’t panic if you still feel that the problem may be low milk supply. Weigh Baby before and after feedings. They will assist you with this at the clinic or you can purchase a scale for use at home. Some mothers even use a kitchen mixing bowl scale, if Baby is small enough.
- Do not supplement! If you do this, your body will adjust to the lower demand and produce less milk.
- Carrying your little one in a sling will make things much easier for you. This will allow you to nurse hands free and feed Baby on demand.
- Some mothers feel quite weak during infant growth spurts. This is because your body is producing more milk for Baby. Listen to your body, and drink and eat a little more during these times.
- Always remember that during a breastfeeding growth spurt, your supply is determined by demand - the more your baby breastfeeds, the more milk you will be producing.
* Calms a fussy baby, promotes bonding.
* Mulitple carry positions.
How to Know if it’s Low Milk Supply or a Growth Spurt
The best thing to do, is to just breastfeed your baby whenever he/she demands it. This way, your body will make sure that you produce more milk; the more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will make.
A baby growth spurt also never really lasts longer than a few days. If the breastfeeding problems continue longer than a week, you should speak to a lactation consultant in connection with increasing your milk supply.
Some tips on increasing milk supply, too.
If your baby is still producing enough wet and dirty diapers, then it is usually a sign of a growth spurt and not low milk supply.
Required dirty and wet diapers for different ages. (bottle fed and breastfed)
Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with baby growth spurts
- Growth spurts and crying: Reasons why babies cry
- Calming a fussy baby
- Swaddle your baby
- Baby cry analyzing
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.