Growth spurts can affect behaviour as well as how settled or playful a baby is. This can also knock your confidence and question your ability to settle and soothe your baby.
When do growth spurts happen?
Every baby develops at their own rate and they can change quickly from one week to the next, especially in the early months. This is a rough guide to when growth spurts happen. For some babies, they are mild but for others they are intense, especially at 4 and 10 months.
Changes in baby behaviour
- unpredictable – you may have thought you were getting to know your baby and then they seem to suddenly change
- harder to settle – babies can cry more and seem to be more fussy
- some babies are very sleepy while other babies could fight sleep
- most babies will need to cling and may only want mum – this about feeling safe
- as babies get older they may become shy with other people
- a strong need to suck – this can be calming
- babies can want more quiet and to be less interactive
- older babies need familiar rather than new places and things
Settling & Soothing
Try not to battle with your baby – growth spurts are a time of learning and change so it can be easier to give your baby what he needs.
- swaying / rocking
- massage and touch
- eye contact
- soothing voice
- pat gently
- quiet time
- to be left alone
Looking after you
Growth spurts can be intense and tiring so it can be important to get some additional support, if possible, to give you a break. Accept the frequent night wakings and make sure you rest, drink plenty of water and eat well. It will ease but don’t try to fix anything as growth spurts are a period of transition.