What is a growth spurt? If your baby or toddler is going through some signs that can be emotionally frustrating for parents, there is a good chance that the infant or preschooler is going through a growth spurt.
Growth spurts in babies mean that this is the time when their maturation and development is in overdrive so they need the proper support from their parents and caregivers to meet their needs. The same applies to growth spurts in toddlers which will cause them to display the same behaviors. Now let’s look at 3 key signs that your baby or toddler is growing like a weed right now:
Growth Spurts In Babies Result In Extreme Hunger
Is your baby crying for the bottle again or for another nursing session not long after just being fed? If that is the case, then your baby is growing a lot right now and needs those extra calories and nutrients in order to meet their needs at this time. The same applies to when it comes to growth spurts in toddlers. They may no longer require being nursed or bottle-fed, but they will be constantly crying for more snacks and larger servings whenever it is their meal times.
In fact, the pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Joshua May from the Los Angeles Medical Center at Kaiser Permanente states that because during the first few years of the child’s life, their metabolisms are very quick and they need to be fed more frequently in order to grow properly. If the baby or toddler is demanding extra food, then they are most definitely going through a growth spurt.
Growth Spurts In Toddlers Result In Irregular Sleeping Patterns
Both babies and toddlers that are going through a growth spurt will find that they either sleep less or sleep more often. If the growing child is sleeping less, then that is quite frustrating for parents because they have to tend to their children a lot more often than they did when they were not growing so quickly.
Dr. Clare Bush, the assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center says that sleep plays a crucial role when it comes to babies and toddlers growing and developing. That is because sleep supports the production of the growth hormone. However, some infants and toddlers respond to it by not sleeping as often as they should. Eventually, they will catch up and develop regular sleeping patterns again.
Children Going Through Growth Spurts Are Fussier
If your baby or toddler is extremely cranky or fussy, then that is a sure sign that plenty of activity is going on inside of their small bodies. They may be fussier due to hunger or tiredness which again are sure signs that they are going through a growth spurt. However, they can also literally be going through growing pains which can result in them being fussy due to the stretching of their muscles and tendons, according to Dr. Joshua May.
The best way to respond to an overly fussy baby or toddler is to keep offering them food or naps. If they refuse either, then they need comforting if they are really upset.
The takeaway is that whenever babies or toddlers are going through a growth spurt, this is a challenging time for parents. However, a growing infant or preschooler is a sure sign that the child is healthy. Parents want nothing other than their kids to be healthy and thriving. This means they have to put up with the inconveniences that result from these growth spurts.