Baby “Breastfeeds All the Time”… Growth Spurt?
Babies commonly triple their birth weight during the first year of life. That growth requires a lot of breast milk!
During a growth spurt, moms describe their baby as “wanting to nurse all the time”. Although growth spurts typically last only one to three days, it can be tiring for mothers. The good news is that frequent nursing will boost your milk supply to meet the fast growing needs of your baby.
When Do Growth Spurts Occur?
Although growth spurts may occur at any age, they are commonly seen between one and three weeks of age, between six and eight weeks and then again at three months, six months and nine months. In addition to wanting to nurse frequently, babies may wake more often at night and may be a little fussier than normal.
How Do I Deal with a Growth Spurt?
It can be reassuring to know that growth spurts are normal. The best way to deal with a growth spurt is listen to your baby and to nurse as often as your baby wishes. It takes a day or two but your body will respond to the increased stimulation by producing more milk.
Some parents may be tempted to supplement during a growth spurt, thinking they don’t have enough milk. Giving supplemental milk during a growth spurt can interfere with the long term regulation of your milk supply. Even though your breasts may “feel empty”, your body will make milk while baby nurses.
When Should I be Concerned?
If your baby’s “growth spurt” lasts longer than a couple of days or if you are concerned that your baby isn’t having enough wet or dirty diapers, you may want to check your baby’s weight and/or contact your healthcare provider. Please see our blog post: “Is My Breastfed Baby Getting Enough Milk?” for more information.
Growth spurts are a normal part of breastfeeding. Nursing on demand is the easiest way to get through a growth spurt. You may need to ask for extra help or allow the housework to wait for a few days!
Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.
Download their app NuuNest – Newborn Nurse Answers and Baby Tracking for expert guidance through the first crucial weeks after childbirth.
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: Oorspronkelijk bestand)