Growth spurts are a normal and to be expected part of growth and development of a child from infancy to adulthood. During that first year, you’ll likely experience several growth spurts that are physically demanding on baby, but also on you. This period of time is when your baby is rapidly growing, meaning they have higher energy demands than normal. It generally means baby will be feeding more often than normal, and they may cluster-feed leading up to a growth spurt. If you are breastfeeding, cluster-feeding is their way of making sure your body is able to meet the demands of milk needed. My daughter fed frequently during these and we did deal with cluster-feeding leading up to each of them. This post includes a guide to growth spurts that will hopefully help you as you experience these crazy times.

sleepy baby sleep during growth spurts

Timeline (for most babies)

The first growth spurt will likely occur around 1-3 weeks of age and then another between 6-8 weeks. This is not all inclusive, but an average time most babies will experience them. Following these early growth spurts, you’ll likely see another one at 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months. These periods of growth spurts are important because baby will approximately triple in size from birth to 12 months. That requires a lot of energy!

Signs of a growth spurt

During a growth spurt, you can bet your baby will want to feed a lot, like A LOT. If baby hasn’t started solids yet, you’ll probably notice that they go from feeding every 2.5-3 hours, to every 1-2 hours. This is normal and also helps your body produce more milk if you are breastfeeding. If baby is at the age for solids, they will likely be eating more of the solid food as well as nursing more. It’ll also impact sleep. You may go from nice long stretches of sleep to up every couple hours. It can also impact duration of naps in older babies. This is completely normal.

Are you concerned about your milk supply?

Feeding a hungry baby round the clock may make you think you are not producing enough for your baby and make you consider switching to formula. Unless you have other reasons for this, just hold on! These growth spurts only last a couple of days, generally, and they are your baby’s way of signaling to your body to make more milk.  Make sure you are taking care of you, eat up if you are hungry and drink extra water.

Baby being breastfed with breastmilk

Cluster feeding – is it normal?

Cluster feeding generally occurs in the evening and is completely normal. Baby will likely want to nurse every 30-60 minutes. This helps your baby fill up before a potential longer stretch of sleep or even signal your body to produce more milk.

Growth Spurts and Sleep

There is some evidence that your baby will sleep more around the time of a growth spurt. This makes sense because your body needs sleep in order to grow, so as they are experiencing surges in development, their sleep needs will be increased. There is also evidence that babies that sleep better grow faster and it is known that you need good sleep to grow mentally as well as physically.

S.O.S. How do I get through this?

First off, let baby lead. If you’ve had baby in a set schedule, try to adjust this to let them sleep and nurse when they want. Feeding on demand is a recommended tactic normally, but it is especially important at this time.


mom holding newborn infant


Do you remember when you were a kid and you had growing pains? I sure do, and it was no fun. One thing you can do to help is do some infant massages. Rub baby’s legs, arms, and back. Massaging can release some natural pain relief to help ease their discomfort. This may even provide you with some relief.

Rest While You Can

One thing that I want to stress in a guide to growth spurts is REST. You will likely be up more at night and dealing with a fussy baby, so rest while you can.

Take care of you

Drink lots of water and eat while you’re hungry. This time is exhausting, but you can do some things to help yourself by staying hydrated and nourished. You burn extra calories while breastfeeding (or just being awake all the time), so make sure you are staying fed. Listen to your body.

Enjoy the cuddles

Babies don’t stay cuddly and clingy for long, so try to take advantage of this time. When baby wants you, it can be demanding, both mentally and physically. But try to focus on the positives. Baby is growing and it’s important that baby gets nourishment to keep them able to grow.

How long does this last?

Generally, growth spurts last about 24-48 hours. Your baby will be nursing more and you’ll start to produce more milk. The days following a growth spurt, baby is likely going to sleep more than normal so you may experience some engorgement, or at least fuller breasts. Expect to have fuller diapers and maybe even more wet diapers throughout the day.

So momma, realize that this time is difficult but it shall pass. While you may be struggling to stay sane, realize it is quick and a good excuse for you and baby to hunker down and cuddle it out. Let nature handle this crazy time and do what you need to do. This time will pass, so try to maintain your sanity while you are in the heat of the moment. I hope this guide to growth spurts gave you some information or even just reassurance that helps you as this stressful time passes.

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