Skip to main content

These 5 signs mean your baby is probably going through a growth spurt

If your newborn is suddenly eating constantly, sleeping erratically, and seems to be fussy all the time, they might be going through a growth spurt. If those newborn diapers you stocked up on for your little one are no longer big enough and those adorable newborn sleepers are getting a bit snug, your baby is definitely going through a growth spurt!

Babies experience the most growth during their first year of life, so if you were hoping to establish any sort of routine for your newborn, you might be out of luck. But it’s helpful to recognize when your baby is experiencing changes. Here are five signs of newborn growth spurts.


Long periods of sleep

Although newborns very rarely have any kind of set sleep schedule, babies will often sleep for a long stretch right before they experience a growth spurt. “There are important physiological changes that happen during sleep that are essential for growth,” Peter Nieman, a pediatrician and assistant clinical professor at the University of Calgary medical school told Today’s Parent. He also warns that unless your baby is a week old or otherwise advised by a doctor, you don’t need to wake the baby for a feed. “She needs her rest, and she’ll make up for milk or formula she missed at her next feeding,” he added.

Restless sleep

While some babies sleep for long stretches before a growth spurt, the reverse can also be true. If you have a baby who was sleeping a lot, a growth spurt might cause them to wake during the night, oftentimes to feed due to increased hunger.

Always hungry

Another way to determine if your baby is experiencing a lot of growth is that they’ll constantly want to eat! If your baby is always hungry and doesn’t seem satiated even after feeding, their body might be preparing for a growth spurt. If your baby is breastfed, many mothers often worry they aren’t producing enough milk because their baby is nursing so much, but the body will typically respond to the increased feeds by producing enough milk to keep up with demand. “Everything is revved up in the first year of life. The metabolism is quick, the frequency of needing feeds is quick,” Dr. Joshua May, a pediatric endocrinologist at Los Angeles Medical Center at Kaiser Permanente told Parents. “Those calories are going toward growth, whether it be building reserves of fat cells or building muscle or—with the help of hormones—actually physically changing the structure of bones.”



Growth spurts can sometimes make for a fussy baby. This might be because they’re so hungry, they just want to eat all the time, and sometimes because their hunger is disrupting their sleep schedule. Adults know how sleep deprivation can affect their own mood, and the same is thought to be true for infants who are struggling to get restful sleep.

Mastering a new skill

Growth spurts don’t only affect your child’s height and weight but their developmental skills as well. If your baby can suddenly roll over or they’re able to grasp an object, that might be thanks to a growth spurt.

How long do newborn growth spurts last?

Although growth spurts can throw your feeding and sleeping schedule out the window, the good news is they don’t tend to last very long at all. Most growth spurts will only last a few days to a week at most. Healthline notes that while all babies are different, the general guideline for growth spurts is as follows;

  • 1 to 3 weeks of age
  • 6 weeks
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months

How can I help my newborn during a growth spurt?

If your baby is experiencing a growth spurt, the best thing you can do is simply be there for them and try to listen to their cues. If they’re hungry, feed them, and if they’re fussy, try to cuddle them in a quiet space. Patience is key during a growth spurt, as your baby might experience a very erratic schedule for a few days.

Do newborns sleep more during a growth spurt?

Many newborns will sleep for long stretches leading up to a growth spurt, while others will experience restless sleep thanks to a suddenly insatiable appetite. There really isn’t a hard and fast rule, but there are many studies that link sleep to physical growth, so if you notice your newborn suddenly sleeping through a feed or napping more than usual, it could be a sign that they’re about to undergo a growth spurt.

Final thoughts on growth spurts

Although they can be a bit disruptive to your schedule, it’s exciting to see how much a growth spurt will impact your little one. Growth spurts can affect a lot of your baby’s behavior, but if you’re concerned that a change in your baby’s eating or sleeping patterns is out of the ordinary, you should always consult with a medical professional.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelli Catana
Kelli is a freelance writer who has covered the world of entertainment, pop culture, parenting, and lifestyle for various…
When do babies start talking? Should you be concerned if yours isn’t?
Learn why baby babbling is music to a parent's ears
Father talking to his infant child

Baby's first year is such an exciting time. As new parents, we are amazed at all those milestones, like rolling over and baby's first smile. One milestone many parents anxiously await is baby's first words. Will it be "mama" or "dada?" The more important question, though, may be, "When do babies start talking?"

A baby' speech development actually begins at birth. The sounds they hear, including their parents, talking is a vital step in speech development. So, when should your baby be saying those exciting first words, and should you be worried if yours isn't talking yet?
When do babies start talking?
As with all of those memorable milestones, when a baby begins to talk falls within a range. Most babies will say that treasured first word somewhere between 12 and 18 months. Once that first word comes out, it won't be long before baby is putting small words together like "up ma."

Read more
Can these methods really help predict your baby’s gender? Get the scoop here
Find out if these baby gender predictors are accurate
A couple holding a gender reveal balloon

Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in a person's life and one that involves making a lot of decisions. Before you even get pregnant, you may have already decided if you're going to find out the sex of your baby or let it be a surprise. Some people want to know in advance so they can plan accordingly, while others are happy to wait until the baby arrives to find out if they are having a boy or a girl.
Regardless of how you feel about the subject of baby gender predictors, people are going to share their opinions on whether you're having a boy or a girl, and the reasons for those opinions! So can those old wives' tales and different methods of gender predicting really help tell you your baby's sex? Maybe, or maybe not! Let's explore the different ways to determine a baby's gender.

When it comes to determining the sex of your unborn baby, the ultrasound is the gold standard. Throughout any person's pregnancy, they will undergo a series of ultrasounds to ensure the baby is growing accordingly, and an ultrasound technician can typically determine the baby's sex during an anatomy scan anywhere between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Read more
A missed period doesn’t automatically mean you’re pregnant, but here’s what could be going on
Have a missed period but not pregnant? There are other reasons for changes in your cycle to know about
A woman smiling into the camera

If you are in your childbearing years and miss a period, your first thought is wondering if you could be pregnant. That's not always the case. There are other reasons for a missed period to be aware of, so don't automatically jump to buy a pregnancy test. Know you're not pregnant? Go through this list of other possibilities for the skip.
You are stressed
Missed period, but not pregnant? Have you been stressed lately? Stress does weird things to your body. For women, it causes an imbalance of hormones which can affect your period. Constant stress messes with your hypothalamus, which regulates your period. Long-term stress could lead to illnesses and a change in weight, which would also cause you to skip periods or stop them altogether. Find ways to regulate yourself, such as meditation, exercise, reading, or other hobbies that relax and calm you down.
Severe weight change
Speaking of a change in weight caused by stress, a drop in weight could cause skipped periods. When your body fat is too low, your body won't produce the hormones to have a period. Once your body fat is at a normal level, your periods will become regular again.

It works the other way, as well. If you gain a considerable amount of weight in a short time, you produce too much estrogen, which results in irregular periods. If you're on a journey to change your weight, make the plan safe and healthy, so you don't lose or gain too much weight too fast.
Certain health issues
There are certain chronic illnesses that could mess with your cycle. Diseases like diabetes, Cushing syndrome, Asherman's syndrome, celiac disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome are all capable of long-term missed periods or an irregular cycle. Illnesses and diseases that affect your metabolism, thyroid, blood sugar, body fat, or hormones, should all be considered as a reason if you miss a period.

Read more