By Jan Murray
My husband and I thought we were doing well in our role of new parents as I had learnt how to successfully breast feed every 3 hours (from the start of one feed to the start of the next) and settle my baby to sleep about an hour and a quarter after every feed during the day. At about 2- 3 weeks everything went pear shape. Ben started to cry a lot and he wanted to feed constantly. I felt terrible and that it was my fault that I could not stop him crying or even work out why he was crying. I wondered if I was doing something wrong and whether my milk had dried up or perhaps he was sick or constipated. I now know that he was experiencing a growth spurt.
During a growth spurt a baby will display unsettled, hungry, windy, wakeful behaviour and they may not poo as often as they have been. If you give your baby extra breastfeeds or make up an extra amount in each bottle (if you are already bottle feeding) and use extra settling techniques when they are awake and be patient, this behaviour will usually settle in 1-2 days.
Growth spurts in a young baby are expected to occur at 3days, 7days, 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months of age.
During these unsettled times try not to cram too many outings or visitors into your day. Expect to be breast feeding more frequently and use a variety of methods to try and settle your baby. These may include a warm bath, walk outside in a carry sling or stroller, extra feed and cuddle. You will not spoil them! This period will pass in about 24 - 48 hours. You will know it has passed as your baby will appear more alert and responsive as well as sleeping for longer stretches. However, if this is not the case and their unsettled behaviour continues, have your baby checked by your General Practitioner or Child Health Nurse for other causes.
The eBook on 'Putting them to Sleep' will hold some relevant information for you if you are struggling in the area of sleep with your baby or toddler.
If you have found this information useful you will love 'Mum, Baby & Toddler - together we learn'
Jan Murray has studied and worked as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse for over 25 years. Jan is a mother of 5 and co-founder and director of Settle Petal - http://www.settlepetal.com Through her business Jan provides information and support for parents to develop their knowledge, understandings, skills and attitudes needed to maintain and enhance personal health and physical development of all members of their family.