What to Know About Newborn Growth Spurts & Increased Breastfeeding 

Mother holding her newborn baby

What to Know About Newborn Growth Spurts & Increased Breastfeeding 

Bringing your little one home is a journey filled with joy, discovery, and, of course, a fair share of challenges. Among these is understanding and adapting to your baby’s growth spurts. 

These periods of rapid growth are crucial for your baby’s development, but they can also be overwhelming for new parents – especially for breastfeeding moms. Recognizing the signs of these growth spurts and knowing how to respond can make all the difference in nurturing a healthy, happy baby and strengthening your bond. 

Join us as we shed light on infant growth spurts and breastfeeding. From common newborn growth spurt times to how it affects breastfeeding, we’re here to help equip you with the confidence to support your little one through these milestones. 

The Link Between Breastfeeding and Growth Spurts 

The experts at the Cleveland Clinic define growth spurts as short periods when your child experiences quick physical growth in height and weight. These are a normal part of your child’s development and occur at different stages of their childhood. However, newborn growth spurts are often the most drastic. 

In fact, the Cleveland Clinic emphasizes that during the first year of baby’s life, they will grow about 10 inches and triple their weight! 

With these growth spurts also come increased breastfeeding demands. More frequent feeding sessions, known as cluster feeding, are essential for meeting the nutritional needs of growing newborns.  

Common Newborn Growth Spurt Times 

Babies go through many growth spurts during their first year of life. During these times, your baby will likely feed longer and more often. They may have a normal, full feeding, and then want to be fed again 30 to 60 minutes later. This pattern may last for a few days – which is the typical length of a newborn growth spurt. 

While every baby is different, there are some common newborn growth spurt times that mark developmental milestones. 

2-3 Weeks 

Most experts agree that the first major growth spurt happens fairly quickly. Once baby has gotten the hang of breastfeeding, they begin to grow more rapidly. This first round of cluster feeding can be overwhelming for new parents, so it’s important to take care of yourself! 

Lean on resources such as a breastfeeding support group or lactation consultant. Make sure you’re also staying hydrated and getting enough rest. 

6-8 Weeks 

Around the 6-week mark, most babies experience another bout of growth. While it may feel like you just got in the groove of a feeding schedule, it’s important to follow baby’s lead for cluster feedings. After all, they need these extra nutrients, and delaying feedings can make them fussier. 

3 Months 

The three-month milestone is when some mothers start to see the true connection with baby. Your little one is likely more curious about the world and may be becoming more active, moving their little fists and trying to look around.  

This is an important predecessor to major milestones in their physical and verbal development, which baby needs more nutrients for. 

6 Months 

At six months old, baby grows again. This is often considered to be the last stage for cluster feeding since you can start adding solid foods to your little one’s diet. It’s still important to ensure baby gets all the nutrients they need during this time, whether it’s through increased breastfeeding sessions or providing them nutritious food. 

9 Months 

By nine months, your newborn isn’t so little anymore. They’re becoming more mobile and are ready to crawl and even pull themselves up to stand. All this extra movement means they need more energy! You may be surprised that your baby needs more feedings or food during this time, but it’s crucial for this final growth milestone before the year mark. 

Recognizing the Signs of Newborn Growth Spurts 

Fussy baby going through a growth spurt

Breastfeeding growth spurts can feel daunting for new parents. It may seem like all baby wants to do is eat, and they may be more fussy. Understanding when your baby is going through a growth spurt may help you be more patient and understand how to meet your little one’s needs. 

Here are some common signs your newborn is having a growth spurt: 

  • Increased Hunger: Of course, one of the most obvious signs of an infant growth spurt is their need to eat more – sometimes as often as 30 minutes. Since breastfeeding is all about supply and demand, don’t stress about your milk supply. Your milk production will naturally increase with baby’s demand. 
  • Trouble Sleeping: The experts at What to Expect explain that even if your baby was settled into a sleeping routine, a growth spurt can be disruptive. During this time your baby may wake up more frequently at night and request feedings. Older babies may also wake up earlier from their naps. 
  • Weight Gain & Growth: You might also notice that baby is gaining weight more rapidly during these growth milestones. Though it can be difficult to monitor this at home, your baby’s doctor will have access to growth charts to track your baby from their birth weight and on to ensure they’re reaching key developments. 
  • Fussiness: Baby is often fussier during these times of growth. While growth spurts are not painful, the increased hunger and disrupted sleep can make your little one grumpy. Even during feedings baby may latch and unlatch and be generally restless. It’s important to be patient and follow your baby’s cues during these times. 

Newborn growth spurts can be a trying time, but they serve an important purpose. The best thing new parents can do is respond to their baby’s needs and provide some extra comfort and care during these periods. Always remember that growth spurts don’t last forever! These cluster feedings and fussiness should only last a few days at a time. 

Already seeing your baby getting big fast? Celebrate the breastfeeding journey and freeze these moments in time! Consider breastmilk jewelry to commemorate these special moments in life. Personalize your piece and order today at KeepsakeMom.  

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