Before you panic and call the pediatrician, consider your child’s age. What you’re experiencing could simply be a growth spurt. When my nursing son hit the one month mark, it seemed like all he wanted to do was eat. Considering that that was all he had done for the first four weeks of his life, it was nearly unfathomable that he might want to eat even more than what he was already consuming. But he did! Because, as it turned out, it was a growth spurt.
Growth spurts can be sometimes difficult to identify but, in general, they occur around the first few days after arriving home from the hospital, then at about 1 week old, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 6 months and 9 months. In addition, after one year of age, growth spurts may occur again every few months or so until your child becomes a teenager. Of course, as with most things baby related, your timing may vary a bit. Growth spurts usually last two or three days.
Signs of a growth spurt include:
- Baby is hungry all the time
- He or she frequently wakes at night to eat
- Baby is more fussy or cranky than usual
For nursing moms, if your baby seems to be hungry all the time, just go along with it and feed your baby when he or she wants to eat. Don’t worry about running out of milk; your milk supply will adjust to your baby’s needs. In addition, if you are nursing, you might also be hungrier or thirstier while your baby is experiencing a growth spurt. It’s nature’s way of telling you that you need to eat more for baby. Just eat or drink more each day (opting for healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and plenty of water, of course.)
If bottle feeding, bring on the bottles! Remember that babies are simply incapable of overeating. If he or she is fussing and seems hungry, try giving a bottle.