Seriously! Growth spurts can be a godsend for moms of little ones, although they may not always seem that way. What’s the best part? They SLEEEEEEP!!! It’s equivalent to a small miracle. Babies and toddlers are continually growing. But, you can tell when your little one is going through an especially tricky time. Growth spurts aren’t just physical; they’re mental. Physical spurts are usually pretty easy for most babies. Mental spurts (or leaps) are a different story. As a result, these spurts are responsible for all of the uncomfortableness and confusion.
Signs Your Baby Might Be In A Growth Spurt
- They’re sleepy more often
- What used to keep their attention doesn’t
- Something that wasn’t interesting is now
- Naps get shorter (if there’s more than one)
- Naps get longer (if there’s only one)
- More naps!! (Again, shorter spurts)
- Definitely more hungry
- They reach for higher things
- Complain more/fussy
- Can’t decide what they need or want
- Need your attention (will make you laugh for it)
The Best Parts Of Growth Spurts
I love growth spurts! I’m blessed that my daughter loves to sleep in general, but during growth spurts, she loves it even more (for the most part). Usually, she naps two times a day for 2 hours each. How did I get this routine? I didn’t do much, honestly. I just followed her lead. If you want to know more about what I did and didn’t do, check out my article: No, I Didn’t Sleep Train. Growth spurts are bittersweet. When Vienna is going through a growth spurt, she sleeps more frequently. Instead of 2 naps a day, she takes up to 4! Unfortunately, the nap times get shorter by half as a result.
I like my two hour periods! They give me enough time to shower, possibly put on a face (doubtful), clean one section of the house, or get laundry ready. But, mainly, 2 hours gives me enough time to get a good nap in myself. An hour isn’t the same. Sure, I can still get some errands done, but resting isn’t possible. However, I’m not complaining. A lot of moms have babies that only sleep 15 minutes, and some have children that refuse to nap at all. But like any mom, when you’re used to a schedule, and it gets thrown off, it’s incredibly frustrating at times. In the end, I honestly love growth supports because I don’t need to entertain my daughter for extended periods, and I have more down-time. Growth spurts are the easiest time to satisfy a baby. First, feed them. Next, let them sleep!
Growth Spurt Advantages
- Increased frequency of naps
- Happier baby (in general)
- More downtime for mom
- Less time spent entertaining the baby
- Easy to satisfy – feed and sleep!
The Worst Parts of Spurts
The worst parts of growth spurts aren’t the fussiness, incessant hunger, or random neediness. It’s the disorder and chaos. I don’t mean a disorderly house; that’s a given with children. I mean the mental discombobulation. As hard as it may be, you have to be extra flexible with your baby during growth spurts. I’ve found the best way to get through it is to let them sleep whenever they want, for as long or short as they need. Please, don’t try to stick to your old routine. I promise you, it won’t work, and you’ll go insane. Your child will protest the attempt, and you will regret trying.
Notice their grumpy moods, eye rubbing, yawning, and attitude. Then, do whatever you have to do to get them to sleep. When Vienna gets like this, I let her sleep in her Graco Sense2Soothe. She sleeps easier and falls asleep much faster. Sometimes I give her a pacifier, and sometimes I give her a bottle. Don’t try to do everything right. Try your best to accommodate your baby. They’re just as confused as you are, and they have their entire lives to adapt to the world. Give them this short time to be catered to. It may seem like the worst time because you can’t play anything! But it will pass. The old sleep schedule you once loved (or a new better one) will turn up sooner than you think. Whatever you do, don’t try and adjust to this new phase. By the time you do, it’ll be gone.
Growth Spurt Disadvantages
- Occasionally fussy/needy/aggravated baby
- Shorter naps
- Disrupted schedule
- Constant inconsistency
How To Survive Growth Spurts
There are two ways to surviving growth spurts: listening and flexibility. Listen to what their movements and actions are telling you. Remember that listening is different than hearing. I had to retrain myself on the concept, and it’s helped me a ton! To learn more about my experience, click HERE. Flexibility is more difficult for most people and is a skill that I work on all the time. I often have to walk away when Vienna is acting up because I cannot handle the disruption.
There are a lot of “ups and downs” that happen, and it gets complicated. I look for the smallest signs of tiredness and immediately stop what we’re doing, and try to get Vienna to go to sleep. If she cries, I leave the room. Firstly, taking those 2-3 minutes to myself helps. Doing this calms me down, but also gives her a moment to fall asleep. Remember, all babies go through this. Each time they do, it will be different. In other words, it’s all normal.