Newborns have “growth spurts” that affect sleep

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By Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns ~~~

New babies grow rapidly, but they don’t do it in one straight line of growth. Some days or weeks they grow faster than others. During these “newborn growth spurts” your baby seems constantly hungry and doesn’t sleep for long periods. He just wants to snooze and feed, snooze and feed, snooze and feed!

Newborn growth spurt or sleep issue?

How do you know if it is a newborn growth spurt or a sleep problem? If this is a “spurt,” as the name implies, it’s a sudden and unusual burst of behavior that’s different from usual. This might be a baby who is suddenly taking shorter naps with lots of feeding in between. Or a baby who is suddenly extra fussy at bedtime and waking up through the night more often.

How long do these spurts last?

These “newborn growth spurts” can last a few days or a week or more. When this happens, you will want to reduce outside stimulation and follow your infant’s lead.  Take advantage of this time and get some extra rest yourself! If you’re breastfeeding make sure you are staying hydrated and eating plenty of good nutritious foods.

New milestones can also affect sleep: once your baby starts to roll over and sit up these, newfound physical abilities may keep him up in the night. He’ll wake up and want to practice his new skills. The best thing to do about this is to give him lots of supervised tummy-play time during the day so that he can master his ability to control his body. This doesn’t take long. Once your baby learns how to control his body and move around he will find it easier to get a comfortable sleeping position.

Elizabeth Pantley is a mother of four, grandmother, and author of the bestselling book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns plus 8 other books in the No-Cry Solution Series. Her books help Moms and Dads through all key stages of parenting.  Visit her at nocrysolution.com

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