How long do growth spurts last?
When you’re in the weeds of it, feeling fatigued and running low on patience, it can feel like your baby’s growth spurt will never end—but rest assured that it will be over before you know it. While some can linger on as long as a week, you’ll be pleased to know that most growth spurts are over in about 2-3 days.
How to deal with growth spurts
Growth spurts can be challenging to say the least, and it can be pretty hard to look at it through a positive lens. Just remember that growth spurts are actually really great, and each one means that good things are happening —your baby is growing and thriving. But we know this is a difficult time, so here are a few tips to help you deal with your baby’s growth spurt.
Lean into it and be prepared to switch your focus for a few days
While it may be a difficult few days for you, fighting a growth spurt only makes it worse — for everyone. Once you learn to spot the signs of a growth spurt, you’ll be able to respond accordingly. Trying to balance your baby’s neediness and your to-do list is a good recipe for disaster. On the other hand, if you lean into it and accept that it will be a day dedicated to anything and everything your baby needs, (and maybe a day spent in your pajamas too), you won’t end the day (or days) feeling imperfect and defeated.
Give your baby what he needs
When you’re in the whirlwind of a growth spurt, try to remember that your little one doesn’t quite understand what’s happening. He/she only knows that they’re hungry, tired, and possibly achy, and nothing feels ok. Parents should take care to respond to those needs. Whether it’s extra feedings, a longer nap, or extra cuddles, these things can pacify your baby just enough so that it doesn’t feel so chaotic —for either of you.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself and trust your milk supply
Breastfeeding moms should take extra care to stay well, stay hydrated, and eat properly. Remember that with your baby’s increased demand for food, your body will respond accordingly, ramp up production, and keep pace with your baby’s needs. While it’s understandably in your nature to put your child first, the airplane analogy often comes to mind in this situation. You have to “put your oxygen mask on first in order to be in a position to help anyone else.” And the same sentiment rings true here. Your baby will be ravenous during his/her growth spurt, and the only way to meet that need is to take care of yourself as best as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner, family, and even your friends for help.
Undoubtedly, growth spurts can make you (and your baby) feel like things are upside down. One day your baby is pleasant, joyful, and you know exactly what he/she needs. And the next day, your little one is fussy, annoyed and you haven’t got a clue how to pacify him. While it may be difficult to deal with, rest assured that growth spurts are a great indicator that your baby is growing and thriving and it will be over before you know it. At the end of the day, your best bet for managing your child’s growth spurts is knowing what to expect, embracing the change, and following your baby’s lead.