As a new mom, there is so much going on with a new baby that sometimes you have trouble keeping up with growth and development. Every month is a joy to watch them develop from the newborn baby who couldn’t be bothered to open his eyes, to a child who can’t even stay still.
Yeah, those are the joys of parenthood, and it is so exciting, but sometimes you don’t know what to expect. All of a sudden baby is going to have tremendous amounts of energy and you’re going to wonder how that all happened, especially if you weren’t prepared.
What you should know is that babies also have “bad days,” just like adults. These are days characterized with excessive fussiness. One of the biggest culprits to this irritability, which is bound to happen every now and then is what is known as the peak growth months, up next we’ll tell you what to watch out for.
What Exactly is a Growth Spurt?
A growth spurt is a time in the growth of your baby when the growing gets a bit too intense. In this time, their brains are developing a little faster and you may find yourself nursing the baby too often, change in their normal sleep patterns and your child will be more irritable.
Keep in mind that your baby doesn’t just grow in size, they develop intellectually as well. So during this time you will see them learning new things, having a new interest in their bodies, and they may seem different to you. It is totally normal.
When is it Likely to Happen?
Every baby is unique and must never be compared to another, as they develop in their own schedules. But the most common times to notice a growth spurt in a baby are the following.
- In week 1-3 of their birth.
- At 6 weeks.
- 3 months
- At 6 months.
- And 9 months.
What are the Signs?
As we have noted above, the most likely changes in your baby shall be behavioral, although, again, not all kids exhibit this. Some have a more subtle way of going through this stage, so, if you do not notice anything in your baby, don’t be alarmed.
But the things you are likely to notice when these growth and development stages are happening will include the list below.
Your baby suddenly seems insatiable and will want to want more than the usual bottle of formula or breastmilk. They have an increased appetite due to their heightened growth demands.
Change in Sleep Patterns
This is as a result of the extra feedings. Your baby wants to snack a little more than usual, and as such, they may wake up in the middle of night requiring an additional feeding session.
This is usually the most visible and noticeable change in your baby. They are constantly fussy, and grouchy. The increased hunger, disturbed sleep and the growing pains are a big cause for this, so just take it in stride and it shall be over soon.
What to do as a Parent
Feed your Baby Often
Whenever he cries, feed him. You should come up with a schedule of ensuring that they are being fed every 2 hours, unless they do not want to. This will not last long, and within no time you will be able to get back to your normal feeding schedule.
Help them to Sleep
Do your best to try and encourage the baby to sleep. If you do not seem to make it happen, practice some patience during sleep times and do not be in a hurry. You may not stick to the usual schedule, but try to keep the baby comfortable and happy before sleep times.
Be Patient and Loving
Once you understand that it is not your baby’s fault that fussiness has become the name of the game, then you can exercise some patience with your little one to help them through the process. Be extra loving when they are fussy, and attentive to their immediate needs.
Take Care of Yourself
Above all, do not forget about yourself. You are the most important person in your baby’s life and your overall health and mental condition will determine how well you take care of your baby. If you have someone to help you, take some time to rest and nourish yourself before taking care of the baby again.
Information is extremely powerful. When you know what is happening to your baby, you are in a better position of taking care of them. These growth spurts are common, and most parents tend to notice them in the fourth month, so, if your child is nearing that age, be on the lookout, and all the best! You can do it.