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.

Tuan Tran/Getty Images

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.”

Image used with permission by copyright holder


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…
Need to move things along? You can actually make prune juice for babies
Prune juice works for adults, but is it good for babies, too?
Mother comforting a crying baby

Prunes act as a natural laxative. The fruit is often used when adults and kids have difficulty going to the bathroom. As a parent, constipation is a major source of concern especially when it comes to babies. When babies get constipated parents often feel helpless, not knowing what to do to provide relief.
If you need some help to move things along, you may want to try a homemade remedy like prune juice for babies. Prune juice is a natural solution that's quick and easy to make at home. The important question to ask before heading to the blender though is prune juice safe for babies?

Signs of constipation in babies
Prune juice for babies is an option when little ones are constipated, but it's a good idea to know what you're dealing with before considering using prunes as a laxative for your kiddo. As an adult, it's simple to recognize when you're constipated, but what are the symptoms when a baby has difficulty pooping?

Read more
Can babies have nightmares? What you need to know
How to help your baby when they have a bad dream
Toddler being comforted in bed after a nightmare.

Can babies have nightmares? It may seem unlikely that your little one may be experiencing bad dreams, but if your baby has woken up crying for no apparent reason, you may wonder if a nightmare was the cause.

Often when we think of nightmares, we think of how they're subconsciously caused by our fears, or by something scary we may have watched on television. Since babies aren't watching scary movies and are mostly exposed to positive and comforting stimuli, parents often wonder if babies can have nightmares and what they can do to help soothe them back to sleep. We shed some light on why your baby may be waking up upset and what you can do to make their nights as peaceful as possible.

Read more
5 warning signs your toddler has a speech delay
Speech delay in toddler signs and how to spot them
Toddler eating a banana

Thanks to social media, blogs, and YouTube channels of individuals who are constantly recording and updating the public on their child's development it can make parents anxious as they start to compare their own child's milestones. It can even cause a bit of anxiety if you notice your child's "firsts" are different or delayed from others. Waiting for your child to be able to communicate with you instead of crying can seem like an eternity, so when they finally make those first sounds, it's a welcome relief. The biggest question is often how to tell if your child has a speech delay. Once you figure that out, other questions like what causes speech delay in toddlers follow.

The number of words children regularly say at different ages varies greatly from child to child, but there are some guidelines that can help you figure out if there is a speech delay that needs interventions and treatments. According to Hanen Certified Speech-Language Pathologist Laura Lowry, "The “wait-and-see” approach to children who talk late is a result of misconceptions about typical language development." Here are five signs to look for to tell if your toddler could have a speech delay.

Read more