How Your Baby’s Growth Spurts Affect Sleep And Feeding

How Growth Spurts Affect Baby and Toddler Sleep

You may already know that things like teething, illness, and sleep regressions can affect your baby’s sleeping and feeding schedule. But did you know that your baby will go through a series of growth spurts in the first year of life and that these can cause big disruptions in sleep and feeding?

Baby Growth Spurts: When They Happen

The exact timing of growth spurts will vary from baby to baby, and not all babies will experience all the growth spurts listed below. But the following is a list of when many healthcare experts (not to mention tired parents!) notice growth spurts:

  • 7-10 days
  • 2 weeks
  • 4 weeks
  • 8 weeks
  • 12 weeks
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 8.5 months
  • 10.5 months
  • 12.5 months

Growth spurts usually last 2-3 days, although they can last as long as a week.

Baby Growth Spurts: How They Affect Sleep and Feeding

During growth spurts, your baby will probably eat and sleep more than usual; this, of course, means that the sleep and feeding schedule you normally use may not work during a growth spurt. This is okay; let your baby take extra naps or go to bed earlier/wake up later. After a few days, your schedule should return to normal.

Same goes for feeding; if your baby seems extra hungry, go ahead and offer more food. If you are breastfeeding, it is especially important that you nurse more often; as your baby nurses more, your milk supply will increase, which in turn will ensure that you have enough milk to satisfy your growing baby.

Especially during the newborn stage, it may feel like all your baby does during a growth spurt is eat and sleep. For a few days (up to a week), this is perfectly normal. However, if your baby continues to only eat and sleep, and isn’t awake as often as you think he should be, you may want to take him to see a healthcare provider, to make sure nothing is wrong. It is possible for a baby to sleep too much (although this is rarely a problem.)

Need Baby or Toddler Sleep Help? You Came To The Right Place!

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4 thoughts on “How Your Baby’s Growth Spurts Affect Sleep And Feeding”

  1. My twin boys are 4 months on 8/24 but gestational age 3 (born 3 weeks early).

    They are doing great at night – give us anywhere between 7-10 hour stretches and do 2 small naps in the AM, 3 hour nap in the PM, cat nap before bed and then down around 8 or so.

    However this past week I’ve noticed extra napping with wake time being shorter. They are happy when up, still play, are getting in like 24 ounces a day, but ready for a nap within 1 hour (usually 1.5-2).

    Could this be a growth spurt? Is it ok if they sleep extra? Their normal feeding intake this week has been lower but not by any extreme.

    • Hi @Angie – Thanks for writing to us about your twins! Growth spurts can definitely affect sleep, and that may be the cause of the need to sleep a little more! A little extra sleep is not typically a problem, so you may want to let it continue for now! Check out this article which may also help shed some light on this, if you’re worried about them sleeping more than usual:
      Good luck Angie, and thanks for visiting!

  2. @ Trudy – oh no! So sorry to hear your daughter is going through this. She must be exhausted. 🙁 Night wakings should be rare after 12 months (for illness, teething, etc.); the fact that they’re regular, nightly occurrences in your daughter’s house indicates that her little guys probably just need some help in learning how to fall asleep on their own and stay asleep.

    Feel free to direct her to this site for help. We have several free guides she can utilize to get started:

    5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night (for Connor):

    Toddler Sleep Secrets (for Josh):

    We have lots of services available, too, if your daughter feels too overwhelmed (and/or too tired) to tackle this on her own.

    Thanks for reaching out, Trudy! So nice of you to be concerned for your daughter, and for your grandsons.

  3. I have 2 grandchildren that do not sleep through the night.
    Josh is 3yrs and 10mths and still wakes up 3 or 4 time s a night. Connor is 1yr 1 month and has also now started waking up through the night. As a result my daughter gets no sleep and has a rather taxing job to face the next day.

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