Growth Spurts in Breastfed Babies
All babies will have infant growth spurts, also called “frequency days”. Moms almost always think that they have a low milk supply during these growth spurt times. Their babies may start to breastfeed much 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.
Growth spurts occur mostly during the first few days at home, at 2, 3 and 6 weeks and then again at 3, 6 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 colic.
Moms may notice toddler growth spurts as well.
- Baby will begin to feed more frequently.
- Breastfeeding fussiness, as well as an increase in overall fussiness during the day.
- Baby has a different sleep pattern than before, sometimes not sleeping at all.
- Infant growth spurts sleepiness: Some babies sleep a lot of the time during a growth spurt, Moms shouldn’t worry about this. Just allow Baby to sleep. Although babies that are younger than two weeks should be breastfed at least every two hours.
- 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 most likely still hungry.
- Don’t panic, if you still feel that the problem may be low milk supply, you can weigh Baby before and after feedings, go to the clinic for this or get yourself a scale; some mothers even use a kitchen mixing bowl scale, if Baby is small enough.
- Do not supplement! If you do this, your body will start to 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. A mother should listen to her 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, so the more your baby breastfeeds, the more milk you will be producing.
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.
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
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