baby growth spurts

Your newborn baby will grow rapidly in the first year of life, and you may sometimes suspect a growth spurt if your little one seemingly grows overnight! Read on to learn all about baby growth spurts: what they are, what signs to look out for, and how to deal with them.

What Are Growth Spurts?

A growth spurt refers to a period of intense, rapid growth in a short amount of time. You may notice that your infant, baby, or, sometimes, toddler seems to have grown overnight when a growth spurt happens.

Length (height) and weight are the two most obvious measures of growth in a baby. During the first year, babies on average add about 10 inches (25 centimetres) in length and triple their birth weight. Babies' heads also grow a lot, especially during the first four months. It's likely that your baby will grow at a fairly steady rate, but it’s also possible your newborn will have what are called growth spurts.

What ages do babies have growth spurts?

Most newborn babies lose around one-tenth of their birth weight in the first five days after birth; then, they tend to regain it in the next five days. After your newborn has returned to their birth weight, you might observe that they grow rapidly and through another growth spurt between 3 to 6 weeks. However, different babies may have growth spurts at different ages, and your child could experience one at 3 months, 6 months, or at any another time within the first year. Check with your baby’s healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your little one's growth or development. Growth spurts in toddlers are less common. After age 1, growth tends to slow down, and by age 2, children start to grow at a steadier rate until just before puberty. A major growth spurt is common between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls, and between 10 and 15 for boys. You may want to track your baby’s growth spurts in our Baby Growth Chart Calculator to see how quickly your little one is growing.

In Summary

Once your baby is born, it's likely they’ll lose some of their birth weight and regain it over the first 10 days. Your newborn may then have another growth spurt at about 3 to 6 weeks old. Although other growth spurts can occur at other ages, general growth will probably slow down after your baby turns 1.

What are the signs of a growth spurt?

You may be wondering if there are any signs of a growth spurt to look out for. Here are a few things you may observe just before your little one grows a size or two:

  • Your baby is hungry more often. Around the time your baby goes through a growth spurt, you may notice they’re hungrier than usual. Your baby may show signs of increased hunger by crying a lot, appearing restless, sticking out their tongue, or sucking on their hands and lips.

  • Your baby may show more fussiness. Your baby may appear cranky or even cry a lot just before a growth spurt. However, symptoms of fussiness or crankiness can occur because of other conditions, such as colic, especially if the crying happens around the same time every day.

RELATED ARTICLE

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Child Growth Charts for Boys and Girls

In Summary

Here are some signs your baby may be about to go through a growth spurt:

  • Being hungrier than usual
  • Being fussy or cranky.

How to Deal With Infant Growth Spurts

If you notice your baby is showing the above signs and it looks like they’re about to have a growth spurt, there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Feed your baby more if they seem hungry. Make sure your baby gets the nourishment they need for an upcoming growth spurt and overall development. If you’re breastfeeding, you can nurse more often, as this can help stimulate more milk production. If you’re formula feeding, you can give your baby a little more at each feeding or simply feed more often.

  • Help your baby sleep. Create a good sleeping environment by keeping the lights low and sticking to a routine before bedtime, which can help your little one sleep better. If your baby likes to nap more during the day, like three or four hours, and you’re worried they won’t get enough sleep at night, you can simply wake them up to play.

  • Help soothe your fussy or cranky baby. If you’ve ruled out other causes for your baby being fussy or cranky, then try to soothe your baby with rocking or cuddling. You can even talk to your little one, play, or walk around with them.

In Summary

If you notice the signs that your infant is about to have a growth spurt, then you may want to:

  • Feed your baby more often if they seem hungrier than usual
  • Help your baby sleep better
  • Soothe your fussy baby.

FAQS AT A GLANCE

  • Though it's likely that there’s a connection between patterns of sleep and growth, there's not enough evidence to suggest that most babies sleep more, or sleep less, during growth spurts.

  • You may see growth spurts in the first two weeks of your baby’s life, and then again around 3 to 6 weeks old. However, after 1 year of age, growth will continue at a slower pace and your child may not have a growth spurt again until they’re approaching adolescence.

  • If you notice your baby is hungrier than usual, then you may want to give your little one a bit more breast milk or formula. They may need the extra calories for all that overnight growing!

The Bottom Line

All parents expect to see their baby grow and develop, but don’t be surprised if your little one seems to have grown overnight when going through a growth spurt! You may spot some of the signs a baby’s growth spurt is coming before it happens, like being hungrier or a little fussier than normal. Or, you’ll simply notice your newborn has gone up a size suddenly without showing any of the baby growth spurt symptoms. Growth spurts are normal and natural in the first few months of a baby's life and typically subside after one year. They’re nothing to worry about, but if you do notice your little one is hungrier than normal or even a little cranky, then it’s possible you’ll wake up to a bigger baby! Of course, always consult your child’s healthcare provider with any questions or concerns. In the meantime, ensure you’re using the correct diaper size as your baby grows by using our Diaper Size Calculator. And don’t forget to reward yourself for all those extra diaper changes you’ll be doing with our Pampers Club app!

How We Wrote This Article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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