Your baby is growing, fast! It seems to literally be happening before your very eyes. Don’t be alarmed, it kind of is happening that fast.
Most experts believe that growth spurts occur one at a time for an average of two to three days. During your baby’s first year however, they might go through approximately five separate growth events, beginning at 1-3 weeks and commencing at 9 months.
A few of the most common signs of growth spurts include:
- Signs of Hunger, after or between feedings – Your baby may pursue his/her lips, curl their tongue at the sides and try to suck on their fingers in search of calories while their little body begins to grow.
- Signs of sleepiness at the end of a full nap and/or during playtime – Uncoordinated kicking, red and bloodshot eyes, yawning, moving the head from side to side and slowly closing and opening the eyes are signs that your baby is needing some rest. Let him/her sleep and allow the growth to begin.
- Signs of fussiness or clinginess during feedings, naps and/or playtime – It’s pretty obvious what to look for in a fussy child, either they’re hungry or need changing, but in times of growth spurts your baby may be clingier than usual and seem more emotional.
Try the following techniques to save your sanity during these trying times:
- Shorten your baby’s schedule by thirty minutes during daytime feedings – During the 48 hours or so of your baby’s growth spurt(s), you’ll want to ensure they’re getting enough calories. Scale back your daily schedule to allow the baby enough rest for storing the necessary calories.
- Feed your baby more ounces during the last feeding – Hopefully you’re already on a schedule for sleep and feedings, if not, get one. Try to feed your baby more at the last feeding of the night so he/she will get enough calories to sleep through the night.
- Get Help! – Growth spurts are a stressful time for everyone in your growing family. Be sure to ask for help from family members, friends, older siblings… your baby is going to require a lot during these short periods of growth, which may require your full attention
- Drink More Water – Especially if you’re breastfeeding, you should be drinking plenty of water. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water during the time of your baby’s growth spurt to ensure your milk supply is efficient enough to supply the right amount of calories.
- Sleep Yourself – Sleep when your baby sleeps, otherwise, you might not sleep. This will help to reduce stress and help you make more capable decisions.
YOGA !!! – For you and your baby… try the following poses to relieve stress for you and your baby
- Downward Dog Kisses – Lie your little baby yogi facing you while you practice the downward dog position which helps to shape and strengthen your core and legs too. Incorporate little kisses and distract yourself in the meditative practice of connecting with your child.
- Hop Along Yogi Core Play – Hold your little one up with your arms and shins as you lie back on the yoga mat, bracing your core and using your pelvic floor muscles with your baby as a weight load. Keep your torso steady and make sure your legs are moving, not your pelvis as you bounce the baby up and down.
- Mama Goddess – Step your feet to a modest straddle while holding your little one in place at your center. Contract your pelvic floor and keep your low back long and neutral. Check out images for goddess pose and follow the instructions, just hold your baby while you do it.
- Forward Bend Giggle and Cuddle – A great bonding pose that also releases your back and contracts your core. Use your legs and inner belly to strengthen your core while cuddling that sweet little bundle and teaching him/her something at the same time.
- Hand stands for everyone – This is a super soothing technique for your baby while they grow. Consider the stretch he or she is getting by hanging upside down, something they are quite used to after spending nine months in utero – think of it – how relaxing this must be for your baby.
Working with your child, practicing yoga, from a young age will help you connect and build confidence in your relationship.
Finally, be aware of the difference between growth spurts and sleep regressions which can occur within or around your baby’s growth spurt. This typically occurs around 4, 8, and 12 months.
Talk to your pediatrician about your baby’s growth habits. Don’t worry, the doctors are already monitoring their progress from the day they’re born. You just need to be prepared for it.