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Thread: Growth spurt questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Growth spurt questions

    Ok so my LO is one month old this coming Saturday and it seems like the last two weeks have been one long perpetual growth spurt. Here are some experiences. Would love to hear any comments/suggestions/words of encouragement that anyone can offer!

    - Nursing on demand but DS seems to be spitting up over the past couple days. He thinks he's hungry but wondering if he's still learning to know when he's full. I think the spit up is normal as he's figuring this all out?

    - At night (primarily between 8-10 pm) I don't seem to be able to satisfy him. I nurse but he gets frustrated when he's not getting as much as early in the day (it seems) so I'm pumping one bottle after my am feed in order to use it at night and also have my DH participate. Wondering the best way to manage these cluster feed times and hoping this is part of his age and growth spurt and it will calm down. If I feel like I'm 'empty' and still try to nurse him he cries out of frustration.

    I hope this all makes sense. Running on little sleep as I know all can relate to. . .


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Growth spurt questions

    Spit up is par for the course with young babies, even when they eat an average amount, more so when they really fill up their tiny tummies. It happens because the muscle sphincters which keep stomach contents down in the stomach are, like all of a baby's other muscles, still relatively weak. They'll strengthen in time. Until then, treat this as a laundry issue, not a feeding issue.

    Evening fussiness at this age is also par for the course. Often moms feel like it must be a supply problem, but it's really, really imprtant to realize that not everything your baby does is somehow your fault- and this is especially true when it comes to fussy evenings! Do you want to be using that daily bottle of pumped milk? Sometimes it can help a fussy baby to settle- with my first, the bottle got us through those moments when she seemed too tired to eat and too hungry to sleep. But there are plenty of other soothing techniques that can get you through a fussathon, including:
    - Calm house. Lights, TV, and stereo down or preferably off
    - White noise
    - Swaddle
    - Motion- put baby in a swing, bounce on an exercise ball, stroller ride
    - Closeness- wear baby on a sling or snuggle close to bare skin
    - Wam bath- this worked like a charm with my girls!
    - Trip outside into the fresh air
    Coping with evening fussiness is more about changing the baby's sensory input than anything else. That's why bottles work- it's a new sensation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Growth spurt questions

    I know many people talk about a "3 week" growth spurt, but I've become more and more skeptical about nursing frequency linked to a "growth spurt" in the newborn period. Newborns are in one, long, continuous growth spurt. A normal healthy month old baby is growing almost as fast as baby was in the last few weeks of pregnancy in mother's womb, when baby fed continuously and was also, in a sense, continuously being held and comforted.

    What does seem to happen is that a baby may feed less often and be more sleepy in the first week or two of life, then "wakes up" and begins to nurse like mad. This might seem quite alarming to a mom if the switch is dramatic. This period is beautifully described in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition.)

    But the fact is, periods of cluster feeding and/or baby acting fussy or unsatisfied after nursing happen throughout the breastfeeding relationship. It's just normal life with a baby, although of course there is going to be quite a variety in behavior & personality.

    Do babies who are fed formula never act fussy after eating, or cue to feed more (or for other comforting) more often at certain times of the day? Of course they do. Babies are babies. I strongly believe, it is not that bottle fed babies behave so much differently but that mothers tend to doubt their ability to nourish their babies with their milk but do not doubt bottles. If a formula fed baby is fussy after eating, the baby is comforted somehow and life goes on. If a breastfed baby is fussy after eating, moms all too often tend to think it’s due to some problem with breastfeeding. But if a baby is gaining appropriately and breastfeeding is comfortable for mom, then there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding.

    Wondering the best way to manage these cluster feed times and hoping this is part of his age and growth spurt and it will calm down.
    How best to handle the intense newborn period is going to be very individual. But here is what has worked for me: I accept that my baby is a newborn and basically needs my near total constant presence. I get help from my husband in caring for ME and our older kids, so I can nurse my baby and rest whenever I can snatch a few minutes. I keep baby snuggled up to me, held in my arms and/or on my chest most of the time, and nurse whenever baby wishes. When I need a break, I pass baby off to dad to be held and snuggled close and warm.

    Here are a couple articles on fussy babies and how dad can help that I think have some nice tips.

    For dads: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf

    fussy baby ideas: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Growth spurt questions

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write such thorough answers. I like the attachments above and appreciate the insight.

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