Newborns go through many developmental changes during their first year. They gain weight and their skills develop gradually. In addition, they can be accompanied by some challenges. Like having difficulty establishing a sleeping routine. All of that is due to what is called a newborn baby growth spurt. Learn here what it is, when does it happen, and how to tell its signs.
Newborn Babies Growth Spurt & Developmental Leaps
What is a growth spurt?
Newborn babies tend to grow and gain weight rather rapidly. Many mums feel their babies suddenly gained weight, or got taller, or their head circumference is growing faster than usual. This phase is commonly known as a growth spurt or a developmental leap. Where babies go through rapid changes at different ages. It also can include quick motor skills development, especially during the first year. Moreover, this phase can last for a day or two for newborn babies. While it can last a whole week for older babies and toddlers.
What happens during a growth spurt?
More feeding sessions.
First of all, you must know that the signs may differ from one baby to another. But most mums agree that babies going through developmental leaps tend to get hungry more than usual. And this applies whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. So, you will find yourself breastfeeding for longer times. Or you will be making more milk bottles. Naturally, as a result you will have to change more dirty diapers than usual.
Changes in sleeping patterns.
Sleeping patterns are highly affected by growth spurts. You might find yourself facing one of these two scenarios. One, is that your baby is sleeping more than usual. You will find your baby taking longer naps, or not waking up at night. And that is very normal as those developments take up their little energy. The other scenario is the opposite, where babies tend to sleep less and putting them to sleep would be more challenging. But the good news is: this is only temporary. It is just a phase that your little angel will get by in no time.
Extreme irritability and crying.
Third, you will notice that your baby is more irritable and cries most of the time. The reason behind this is your baby is tired. Newborn babies going through growth spurts become more tired, exhausted, and hungry. That is because their little bodies are going through major changes. In addition, you might find that your baby is clingier and needs to stay in your arms more than usual.
When does it usually happen?
Growth spurts and developmental leaps happen in different times during the first year. Experts believe that those periods are divided as follows:
- – 10 days.
- – 3 weeks.
- – 6 weeks.
- – 3 months.
- – 6 months.
Is there something mums should do during this phase?
1| Keep the milk coming.
During a developmental leap, babies will need more feeding. If one bottle kept your baby full for 3 hours, now it will only keep him or her full for 2 hours. Do not overthink this, and simply prepare another bottle. If you are breastfeeding, make sure to pump an extra feeding bottle for emergencies like this. Keep in mind, an extra bottle during the day will help your baby sleep better at night.
2| Help your baby sleep.
Even if you find it ineffective, keep up a good sleeping routine. Not only will it help your baby get used to it. But it will also help him or her relax and be ready for a good night’s sleep. In addition, maintaining a good sleep routine will help your baby bounce back after this phase.
3| Be patient.
We know, you are exhausted, and you are barely getting any sleep. But your baby needs now the most. Therefore, be patient and try to keep your baby calm. A warm bath, calming lullabies, and some fun and bonding play time will do the trick.
4| Keep an eye on your baby’s health.
Some babies are irritated and crying around the clock for other reasons. So, before considering it is a growth spurt, make sure your baby is well. Constipation, bloating, a diaper rash, or a fever can make your baby irritated just as well. So, make sure it is none of them before assuming it is a developmental leap.
5| Don’t forget to look after yourself.
Finally, mummies need their rest. Self-care is essential to help you care for your baby. Whether you are breastfeeding, a working mum, or even a stay-at-home mum. You will need to look after yourself just as much. Make sure you eat right and sleep well. Do not exhaust yourself or overwhelm yourself with chores and work. Pamper yourself and recharge to provide the best care for your newborn baby and family.