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Growth Spurts in Breastfed Babies
All babies will experience infant growth spurts, also called “frequency days.” Mothers usually assume that they have low milk production during these periods of growth spurt. Their babies may demand to be breastfed 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 most commonly during the first few days at home, at two, three and six weeks and then again at 3 and 6 months, and sometimes at 12 months again! 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.
The best thing to do is to breastfeed your baby whenever he/she demands it; this way, your body will make sure that you produce enough 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. Increasing 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)
Usually, around the fourth month, your baby will become more aware of his/her surroundings. By four months your baby will have the capability to tune into things happening around them but will struggle to do this while nursing sufficiently. Older babies may actually stop nursing every time they hear or see something. You might notice an increase in night feedings when things are less exciting. This stage does not last too long, fortunately.
A few suggestions:
A mother that works during the day will need to add a few extra pump sessions during the day to keep up with the baby's demands. You can also increase the amount of comfort nursing in the evenings. This should increase your supply so that you have extra milk to store in the mornings. You can also start adding a few pump sessions through the night if you are not already doing so.
All babies grow and gain weight differently. Many things need to be taken into consideration; a few include length, muscle tone, and cognitive development.
Some babies put on only a pound per month, some babies never manage to fit on the growth curve because they are small, but they are still healthy in every other way. If your baby seems happy, is putting out enough diapers and your doctor is satisfied with his/her cognitive development, don't worry too much about weight. Also, many times a baby will stop gaining for about a month and then the baby suddenly gains a few pounds in just a few days; this is normal too - especially during a growth spurt when cluster feedings are apparent (during these times, your baby will be drinking plenty.)