Parenthood is blissful, yet the road that leads to it and goes beyond is never smooth. When I had my baby (he is 6 now), just when I thought that I had established a decent routine for him, of eating, napping and pooping; things invariably went crazy. Yes, the growth spurt had come knocking at my door.
Babies need to grow; we all know that (in leaps and bounds). That is why the growth spurts. There is no timeline for these, but babies generally experience about 5 of these in the first year (initial maybe between week 1 and 3, next between week 6 and 8, then sometime in the 3rd month, 6th month and 9th month). Generally, these last for a couple of days (yippee!!!!).
For me, one of the signs was my son becoming ferociously hungry; his constant demands for milk, 24/7; And, like a typical mum, I freaked out and thought that he is not getting the requisite amount of milk. But no need to worry people, the baby is ABSOLUTELY fine (YES, you are a great parent). So, for breast fed babies, we need to eat well to increase the milk production. One might need to nurse longer than before. I had to, and it made me feel weak at times and crazily hungry at other times. Then, automatically my milk supply upped (Mother Nature☺). Bottle fed babies need to be given more formula. Eventually, the feedings tend to stretch out….yes, the spurt does end friends!
The next significant change is in the pattern of sleep. If previously, the baby slept like an angel, during the spurt, she might wake up more (hunger pangs). So, typically, most babies tend to sleep more once the growth spurt is over. But then again, my son never ever slept more; so, please do not hold me to this. Babies are different in more ways than one.
Another interesting observation that I made with regard to my son was that at each growth spurt, my baby pooped a little less than usual ( Mumsies…I am sure you understand me perfectly!). I concluded that since more food was getting utilised for growth, so lesser wastage.
An obvious side effect of a growth spurt is the baby being a little cranky. The increased requirement for food and a general lack of sleep can adversely affect our baby’s temperament. (Ours, too, if I may add).
I take the liberty to share something. When my son was 21 days old, my husband was out of town, during the initial spurt. I was alone with my baby and kept nursing him for what seemed like forever, yet he seemed hungry (kept howling and screaming). I got so scared that I called my husband and told him to be home that instant. He actually took the next flight home.
Dear parents do not worry, it is a phase and we always survive it. I know these moments are excruciatingly exhausting, but the fact is that our baby is getting bigger, stronger and healthier. A request to all the mothers, do take some downtime, eat well, keep yourself hydrated and most importantly, ask for help (your partner, friends, parents would love to bail you out).
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