Babies grow at lightning speed during their first year of life—with some especially turbulent bits to indicate major developmental leaps along the way. Growth spurts generally occur around 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months, but it’s often simpler to spy a stormy period heading your way by becoming familiar with the signs; here are the top four clues your little one may be ramping up in size and abilities.
Suddenly ravenous feeds—think hours confined to the sofa—for a good few days could mean baby is working to boost your supply for their increased physiological needs.
“Everything is revved up in the first year of life. The metabolism is quick, the frequency of needing feeds is quick,” explains Dr. Joshua May, a paediatric endocrinologist. “Those calories are going toward growth, whether it be building reserves of fat cells or building muscle or—with the help of hormones—actually physically changing the structure of bones.”
Your once-slumbering beauty may seemingly change overnight into a nocturnal critter—or, conversely, start sleeping like she’s in chrysalis. Whichever is your fate, if baby is snoozing, don’t interrupt for the sake of schedule; sleep is essential in the production of the primary growth hormone (also named the “growth hormone”).
Increased hunger and tiredness are a combo usually resultant in crabbiness. Some experts also hypothesise that uncharacteristic fussiness might be linked to growing pains. “I think it stands to reason that if there’s major growth going, that tendons and muscles are being stretched in the body and that might be associated with some pain,” says Dr. May. “We certainly see that all the time in the older age range.”
You probably won’t be able to connect a specific new skill to a growth spurt, but be reassured that if your baby is progressing in developmental milestones, with the bout of crazy behaviour and disrupted routine every so often, things are likely going perfectly to plan.
If your baby is showing signs of excessive sleepiness or fussiness, coupled with dry nappies, contact your health provider to confirm she is feeding properly.