Baby growth spurts

Last week I got to hold a 6-week-old baby. Baby S is alert and sweetand communicative and snuggly. And hungry. I walked into Baby S's
parents' apartment and said "Hi" and his mom said "He's been
clusterfeeding all day" in that tone of voice second-time mothers use.
I got there around 6:30 pm, and he'd been nursing for five hours, more
or less straight, and he nursed for most of the three hours I was

I know we're not supposed to overpraise kids, but Baby S is *really
good* at having a growth spurt. (His mom is good at riding it out, too.)

Here are the growth spurt basics:

* They happen at around 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months.
* They happen in breastfed and bottlefed babies.
* You will recognize a growth spurt because the baby will eat more for
anywhere from a few hours one day to all day for 3 or 4 days in a row.
And it could be anything from eating a little bit more, to an all-out
nursing almost constantly for hours at a time like Baby S (and both of
my kids) did.
* Some babies hit all growth spurts hard. Some babies don't seem to hit
growth spurts with any particular vigor. Some babies hit one or two of
the growth spurts harder than the others. It's all normal.
* For breastfed babies, the point is to bring your milk supply up. So if
you're nursing for hours and you feel tapped out, your baby may still
keep nursing anyway. Then in a day or two you'll be making way more
milk, which your baby will be more efficient at drinking (because of
the growth part of the growth spurt) so feedings probably won't take
any longer and might stretch out a lot.
* Lots of babies will sleep longer stretches after they come out of a
growth spurt. (But not all, so don't hate me if yours doesn't.)
* If you're bottlefeeding, the growth spurt is your cue that your baby is
going to start taking more formula at a feeding. But, as with breastfed
babies, the feedings might stretch out a little once the spurt is over.
* If you think of it, take a picture of your baby as soon as you figure
out it's a growth spurt. Then take another picture the next day. My
kids grew visibly over the course of a day during their 6-week growth
spurts. Hilarious.
* You're doing a good job. The growth spurts can make you feel out of
control and inadequate, but they're normal and you're doing all the
right things. Have a glass of water and some chocolate.

Anecdotes about growth spurts? One of my worst parenting moments was in
day 1 of my older son's 3-week growth spurt, which happened when he was
17 days old. I'd nurse him, and he'd finish, and then start crying
again like he was hungry, but I knew he couldn't be because I'd just
nursed him. My mom had gone home the day before, and I had no one to
troubleshoot with, and I'd checked everything and he just kept crying,
and finally I screamed at him, "Why am I not good enough for you??" I
can't remember ever feeling worse about being a mother, not even when
the same child ate a piece of cat poop out of the litter box, drank
from a puddle of rainwater at the playground, or licked the floor of
the subway car during a tantrum.

Fortunately, I emailed my friend Lynne, mom of three, who said, "Oh,
it's just the three-week-growth spurt" and explained it all. So let me
just put some key search phrases in here for desperate parents on the
internet: baby won't stop eating baby won't stop nursing baby won't
stop crying baby won't stop breastfeeding baby wants more milk baby
wants more formula three week 3 week 6 week six week I am a shitty
mother please help.

Now you tell your growth spurt story, please.

58 thoughts on “Baby growth spurts”

  1. Ok, so mine is the 18-month growth spurt. At dinner one night (Chinese buffet) he ate -2 full pieces of pizza
    3 egg sushi
    1 eggroll
    a bunch of fried corn (no, not proud of that one, but he thought it was awesome)
    1.5 cups of fruit
    and a granola bar when he got home.
    As my mom said the next day, “do not buy any clothes for him right now” by the weekend his belly was hangin’ out under his shirt.

  2. Since both my kids nursed every hour they were awake until they were 6 months old ( and then they could go a couple of hours at a time), I don’t have any growth spurt stories per se. Daughter was more of a traditionalist and I do remember her latched on for hours one night at 8 weeks and her nursing every two hours at around 6 months, but nothing out of the ordinary.

  3. Nothing but sympathy for the marathon BF sessions. Those are killer. The feeling of needing to jump out of your skin at that.very.moment is an excercise in restraint and self control.I definitely suggest having an iPod with video, or doing it in front of the TV, or reading a book…anything to pass the time (if your wee one will let you). Just sitting there going over to do lists in your head (ahem) is not recommended. It can drive you ’round the bend.
    And I didn’t think of it at the time, but doing that thing you do at the end of yoga – contracting and then releasing every muscle in your body – would probably really help with the jumping-out-of-your-skin feeling.
    Thankfully now, at 21.5 mos, growth spurts more resemble what @Cobblestone wrote. Though we do still get increased BF, which can be tiresome. But it’s not at all the same when DS was under 12 mos.

  4. 2 things.. 1. they don’t stop at 6 months. My baby is 11 months and just got over one.2. They also might now sleep as well during these times because they are hungry and because they are doing a lot of growing at one time..

  5. My daughter’s cluster-feeding (3 week spurt) happened early, probably at 10-12 days, but she was a week overdue, so that made sense to me. It was tough, but after a few days/nights of cluster-feeding, she was done. I don’t remember the exact timing of the other spurts, but the first was the most brutal. Just know that you may (as you do with the Wonder Weeks book) need to adjust their age, especially at first, depending on whether they were born early or late. If you forget to do that, and your baby was overdue, then you may be caught off-guard when the first growth spurt is earlier than expected!

  6. Twins here…Why, even though I *knew* when growth spurts happen, was I surprised each time? It would take 2 or three days of a baby on each boob ’round the clock for me to recognize what was happening. I was such a slow learner. Our 6 week spurt didn’t happen until they were like 9 weeks old (they were preemies). By the end of it, I had a 24 tv watching schedule memorized.I also finally learned how to nurse while lying down during that one.

  7. Not a growth spurt, per se. More of boob squirt. The day my milk came in (he was 3 days old), my son nursed for 5 hours straight.I thought I was going to die. I thought it would always be like that. I knew there was no way I could keep going. No. Way.
    Fortunately, he didn’t do that again. I nursed him for 38 months, so I guess we both made it through.

  8. Ok, this is why I am glad I blog (sorry I didn’t start earlier), because would I have remembered this?Quote: “The breasts, they are confounded. I am almost positive that AM is having his three-week growth spurt. There has been a lot of nursing and a lot of sleeping and a lot of fussiness in the evening. Sometimes all of these things at once–or at least in rapid succession. There is a lot of milk happening, and sometimes he falls asleep smack in the middle of the festivities. And then there is milk all over the place. Sopping wet shirts (mine), milky face (his), things dripping (both of us). It’s been a long time since I had to wash my bras three times a week. I haven’t missed it.”
    Written when my son was 20 days old.

  9. Ha! Petunia hit her 6 month growth spurt this weekend, a couple of weeks early. I was just feeling all happy because she seemed to be about to drop her final middle of the night feeding… and now we’re nursing three times a night again. Argh. At the same time as I had to take big sister’s binkies away (long story) so Pumpkin’s bedtime last night stretched almost to the time when Petunia first woke up to nurse. I’m very tired.But last night, I finally found a solid food Petunia seems to like (sweet potatoes!) so maybe we’ll get things sorted out soon.
    My growth spurt grumble is that some of the most common times to go back to work in the US coincide perfectly with a growth spurt- 6 weeks (for people who can only take the disability leave), 3 months (for those of us with the ability to add on some family leave time), and 6 months (for the lucky few with actual maternity leave from their company).
    So new mom goes back to work and starts pumping and just can’t seem to keep up with the suddenly ravenous baby. And the suddenly ravenous baby isn’t stimulating more milk because mom is at work pumping… and it all spirals into a mess of unhappiness.
    I don’t have a solution for that, but forwarned is… forwarned. If you have a supply in your freezer and can plan to nurse all day on the weekend, you’ll probably get through OK.

  10. This is timely — that NYT article about infant obesity made me shake my head and sigh. I mean, it’s not that I doubt the stats, but really, the very very very last thing I needed that one day two summers ago when my three-week-old baby nursed for ten straight hours was a little voice in my head wondering if maybe I was planting the seed for health problems later in life. The only thing that comforted me at that time was the knowledge that she’d stop nursing when she’s had enough. As the new mother of a baby who consistently nursed twice as long and twice as often as any breastfeeding resource I could find suggested she would, I would have gone 100% insane if someone had informed me that maybe I couldn’t trust my baby’s natural sense of hunger and that I might actually be harming her by following her lead.Sorry for the off-topic rant, but I cannot imagine how new parents are supposed to process that information in a non-crazy-making way. Don’t give your toddler juice on demand? Sure. Let your newborn cry longer to see if she’s *really* hungry? No way in hell.

  11. A couple thoughts I’ve had recently:-I think a lot of mothers (even second- or third-time mothers) forget about the 6-month growth spurt. Things seem to be settling in so well, maybe the baby is even sleeping more… and then BAM! The baby wants to nurse all the time and is up a few times in the night (like @Cloud’s and like mine just 3 months ago). The parents feel like the kid should be sleeping more, what are they doing wrong, they need to let the baby CIO or some sort of sleep training. When really, it’s a growth spurt. The parents (like me at first) forget that there is a 6-month growth spurt, and they are frustrated and overwhelmed. Luckily, it doesn’t last! It’s just a growth spurt!
    -During the 3-week and 6-week growth spurt with my first, I remember thinking that I must not be making enough milk, or else why would the baby still seem hungry and want to nurse. Thank goodness people told me about the growth spurts and cluster feeding. I wonder how many moms think that they aren’t producing enough and supplement with formula when really it was a growth spurt. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, just more expensive to buy formula and possibly makes mothers feel guilty or bad that they aren’t making enough.
    My story is the 6-month growth spurt, when my baby boy started nursing every hour or less ALL NIGHT LONG. I seriously barely made it through. I was a zombie at work and so stressed and exhausted at home. Thank goodness I realized that it was a growth spurt and developmental spurt.
    Part of how we knew was because my SIL came over to take the baby all night one night, and she went through way more bottles of milk than we had expected. Aha! He really was hungry! We waited until after those spurts to do some sleep training, but did try to consolidate his feedings by feeding both sides and going at least 2 hours between feedings to get the supply built back up.
    And just to give everyone in that situation something to look forward to: My son slept through the whole entire night last night! He didn’t eat until 6:30 in the morning, after going to bed at 7:30 at night! My daughter… that’s another story…

  12. @CAthy – I found that NYT article and other similar articles picked up elsewhere to be unhelpful and stupid. That’s right. I used the dreaded S-word. Scare-mongering, anti-breastfeeding. Mumble mumble.Sure, there is obesity. But breastfeeding is one thing that is found to be protective against obesity because it is very hard to overfeed an exclusively breastfed baby. I suppose offering the breast when other forms of comfort would work could set up negative associations with food, whatever. Address that issue – not the feeding.
    My kids were nicely chubby breastfed babies with little creases in their baby thighs at 4 months. They were like little buddhas with neck folds concealing a high-tech, small batch, artisanal cheese-making facility. They were breastfed. And by 6 months, they were each pretty lean. And so it goes with formula fed babies too.
    If the parents are obese and the babies are consistently out-of-whack length-for-weight, maybe intervene a little in the whole family dynamic, but when you have average weight parents and roly-poly babies, maybe that’s just the way they are.
    Rage inducing mumble mumble.

  13. Oh goodness. My daughter cluster fed the second night we were in the hospital after she was born. I was SO confused. I had no idea what was going on. After constantly trying to feed her all night, the nurse finally came in at 5am and said “Oh, she’s cluster feeding.” and left. And I was all, WTF? No explanations, nothing. The lactation consultant came in and said “Yep, cluster feeding, she’s latched fine.” I got 20 min of sleep that night and it wasn’t until I got home and consulted Dr. Google that I learned what cluster feeding really was. Not a good night. But man did my milk come in quickly!

  14. Munchkin No. 2 is 2 months old and woke up to nurse last night at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:40, 3:30, 5:00, and up for the day at 6:45. I am a zombie and she, of course, is passed out napping for 2 hours now. I can’t nap because Munchkin No. 1 is too young to leave playing or in front of tv unsupervised. She is not tired because she had a nice sound sleep last night. AARRRGG!Didn’t notice a growth spurt at 6 weeks so maybe this is it? She’s a big baby, so its strange she would hit a growth spurt late, but whatever it is I hope its a one night event and I don’t have a repeat performance tonight!
    Also I know exactly the tone of voice Moxie is talking about. I have it. Constantly! 🙂

  15. @caramama- I came across that study on one of my science blogs this morning, too!It is the first thing I’ve seen that has made me think there might be any difference in drinking a soda sweetened with HFCS vs. one sweetened with sugar. BUT… you should know that there have been studies looking for similar effects in humans, and they have so far turned up nothing. So the jury is still out on this one. (Although I think it is safe to say that the soda isn’t a very healthy choice, regardless of how it is sweetened).
    And @SarcastiCarrie- yeah, I raged a bit about the obesity and breastfeeding thing, too. Because that’s what you need when you’re dealing with a growth spurt- some know-it-all quoting the NY Times at you. Argh.
    My first was a skinny baby, never had any rolls of fat. My second is the classic chubby little Buddha baby. Both had the same diet- breastmilk.

  16. Is there a 12-month growth spurt? My DD, almost 1, eats as much solid food as I can throw at her (not literally), and wants to nurse all night long. She’s getting 4 new teeth at the same time, which is contributing, too, I’m sure.I honestly spend each meal cutting up food for her, try to take a bite of my own meal, and realize that she’s finished it all and ready for more. Yikes.

  17. We are approaching the 6 month growth spurt, which if memory serves me right was my favorite one because E went from a baby who laid around to a baby who sat up and did more stuff. Can’t wait for B to make the same transition.Can someone clear something up for me? When you say “6 months” are you counting 6 calendar months from the day (i.e October 11th to April 11th) or are you counting 24 weeks?

  18. Love the search terms at the end! 😀 I remember one instance when #1 had an early toddlerhood growth spurt. We were eating pizza that evening and suddenly realized that she had eaten at least half the pizza herself. Yeah.

  19. Today, I actually had the time to sit and check your blog and was so happy to find this post. I’m going through the 5 week growth spurt right now. The plus is that I think it’s helping him sleep at night. Thank you for the reminder and that I’m not going crazy!

  20. Your post makes me feel better!! I felt like such a bad mom when she was hungry but I was telling myself, “She CAN’T be hungry again!”

  21. Oh lawsy. I had that same moment Moxie. My first baby was born dec 11, and on Christmas night, I tried to lay down and nurse her to sleep so I could get back up and visit with company. For three hours I laid there while the company and my husband chatty merrily outside my bedroom door. And then I got up and yelled something at them, just SURE that the noise was what was keeping her awake. They all went outside. She kept nursing. I thought my boobs must be failing me. She was 4 months old before I found this website because I was dying over a sleep regression and *might* have used some of those more expressive google search terms you have up there on this post.

  22. @hydrogeek – I had some similar experiences nursing in the other room while hubby and company chatted merrily away. I decided with the second that I wasn’t going to seclude myself, especially during growth spurts/cluster feedings. That’s when I needed to be around other people the most to keep my sanity! I decided that I’d rather have everyone possibly see some of my breasts with a moment of discomfort than sitting in another room for hours feeling resentful and alone.@Cloud – I think the study gives us a lot to think about. It’ll be really hard to recreate a study on humans, considering we have such a varied diet of foods and drinks and other environmental factors. But I do think this shows that we don’t have the science completely figured out and that HFCS can be processed in a different way than table sugar. Pretty interesting!

  23. I don’t have any growth spurt reminiscing right now; thank goodness that time in my life is blurry at the moment. However, I almost fell out of my chair laughing about the “licking the subway floor” comment in the original post. I have a “licker” of a son, and if we had a subway, I’m pretty sure he would have licked the floor of it. Thanks for a great laugh!

  24. @caramamaMy daughter’s 6 month growth spurt left me with mastitis. This was the only one I had experienced where she actually woke continuously to feed ( others were confined to day-time luckily). We were away on ‘holiday’ (God, was that good money thrown away) and had neighbours downstairs, so no use letting her try to settle herself a little. Anyway, she woke every couple of hours or so for a couple of nights and then the following night she slept thru. Of course I woke with a sore boob and hot and cold flushes and then a fever developed, and she wasn’t interested in feeding much so I had to hand express (‘cos my pump was 400km away).
    Boy was that a crap holiday.

  25. My daughter is two and a half (years, not months) and going through one of her many growth spurts. This time it’s eating a snack (bread, jam and cheese) at 4pm, then a whole apple at 6 pm, followed by two plates of pasta and a yogurt at 7:30 pm. And I know that she’s going to wake me up at 7am clamoring for breakfast.She’s my third, so I’ve been through this already (and my 7 year old put away about the same amount as she did), and I know that this will be followed by some bird like feeds in a week or two. But boy, did those around the clock nursing sessions have me freaked out at first!

  26. My formula fed almost six month old who is in the 5th percentile for weight is in the middle of a growth spurt where she all of the sudden started eating two ounces more regularly at every feeding. And, she feeds every two hours where before she was feeding every three. But, the silver lining is that she has been– sleeping—through–the—night (salt over the shoulder, knock on wood and every other superstitious thing I can possibly do not to jinx it)! That’s right – SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. Say it with me y’all “SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I’m not too happy that my third and final baby is sleeping through the night 🙂

  27. oh gosh, I remember the 6-week one most because I thought I could. not. do it. There was this one night when Mouse nursed back and forth between the boobs for 2 1/2 hours and then requested again…and I just started to cry.But then Mr. C picked her up and said “go take a walk around the block – she’ll be fine” and I remember walking out the door seeing him settling the obstinate, adorable little sh*thead on his lap – she had this expression that she still has today that means “oh yeah, try and make me” – and saying “now listen. you’re wearing mommy out. everything’s fine, but we’re just going to hang out for 10 minutes while mommy gets some air and then she’ll be back”
    and I was back and it was ok.
    but yes, I was just wondering if there was a 5 1/2 year growth spurt a little while ago because she was eating everything that wasn’t nailed down, and then suddenly none of her lovely winter tights that I bought just a few months ago would even pull up. oy.

  28. Man, why did it never occur to me to google “I am a shitty mother please help” until now? Thanks for the laugh, Moxie, I really needed it. (I stumbled into my Worst Day as a Mother a few days ago. It was bleak, and I’m still recovering my equilibrium. Child seems fine, of course.)But I will say on growth spurts that I never really noticed them, even though I nursed on demand. Though I notice what Charisse mentioned, growth/ eating spurts in my toddler.

  29. This is one of the original topics that made me a Moxie-ite, with religious fervor. Moxie talking about how your kids do things with eating and (especially) sleeping and really in almost every area that just can’t be helped and will seem really wacky and unendurable; and that there’s not much you can do but figure out how YOU can survive and keep everyone reasonably happy. I remember crying when I read post after post, and all the comments. That’s how I felt with the support of this community over my “spanking incident” a couple weeks ago, too.My main memory was when the late-day cluster-feeding started. . .right when I wanted to be greeting my hubby, fixing dinner, and “getting off work” myself. Agony. That time of day remains a parenting agony for me for some reason.
    Is there a 8 or 9 month growth spurt? Don’t remember DS clustering, but DD sure is.
    ANyway, Thanks Moxie, and Moxie-ites. You are an amazing group of women and mommies.

  30. I remember feeling SO VERY LUCKY to have a mom who breast-fed and could tell me what the crap was going on when my oldest started this. He was over a week overdue, so they did all hit just a little early, so when he was about 2 weeks old (three week spurt) he was suddenly attached to my boob all day and all night. Had I not had Nana on speed dial, I would have had a coronary. Obviously these spurts are much harder on nursing moms, since it’s not quite as simple as pulling out the bigger bottles and throwing a couple more ounces in there at each feeding. And, the whole process was much harder with my daughter, since now I had a 2.5 year old who was running rampant and/or throwing a fit while we tried to nurse all day and all night.Also, I have to back up whoever said that it for sure doesn’t end with babies. Both of my kids go through these HUGE swings in appetite. My son especially will go for months barely consuming food (or so it seems) and then suddenly a week comes where he is eating the walls if huge-for-him meals aren’t on time and substantial snacks aren’t offered all day. My daughter’s a little less dramatic about it–she’s kind of a foodie all the time, but still. I’ll see them eating a bit more for a week or so, suddenly the tummies and thighs look a little thicker, and then I know it’s time to buy new clothes in the next size up, cause they’ll be gaining inches very, very soon!

  31. Hey! Once again, Moxie knows just where I am in my crazy first-time momness- my guy (3 monthsish, adjusted age) has just started sleeping longer, eating less often, and my boobs feel really full just before he eats. I was totally starting to freak out.

  32. Slightly off-topic: I’ve been talking to a surprising number of mothers lately who (perhaps erroneously) believe that they “don’t make enough milk” to exclusively breastfeed. Moxie’s story got me thinking: could growth spurts and eternally crying/nursing babies be one reason people think this? I relied on dirty diapers to assure me that my slow-gainer was eating enough, but even still (15 months later) I am occasionally frozen with the thought “what if *I* wasn’t making enough milk and my baby was hungry all the time?”

  33. @Jessica- yes, I think this is one of the things that sometimes fools moms into thinking they don’t have enough milk (which is quite distinct from the very real supply problems some people do have).

  34. @BobbeDoes Bubs take a bottle? Then maybe the non-breadwinner can take night shift so you can get some rest?
    Godd luck.

  35. Is there a 3-year-and-something spurt, because my 41-month-old is just constantly eating lately! Yikes! He’s got a beer belly and his 4T pants are starting to be tight in the waist, although his legs are short, so the cuffs drag on the ground.As for infant growth spurts, my first was formula-fed, and I don’t remember specifically growth-spurting. My second was exclusively breastfed and ate every hour ’round the clock for the first six months, so the growth spurts hardly made a difference. Heh. Now, at 15 months, it’s every two hours ’round the clock. No, he did not become a better sleeper after growth spurts or anything else… sigh.

  36. @Jessica,41 months is around 3.5 years and there is an enormous transition then. And it can last for 6 months or so! Urggh. That’s the next one for me seeing DD is 39 months.
    My son (5.25), who is solidly built, goes thru periods where I think he is starting to look chubby, then lo and behold, almost over night, he looks almost drawn in the face. I measure him and sure enoguh he is another cm taller. As far as eating goes, he does what many hibernators do in reverse. He spends autumn, winter and spring, packing away the calories and in summer he grazes. I’m sure he grows in summer too, but his appetite doesn’t seem to change.

  37. I slept four hours last night, not in one stretch.I’m EB a two month old who still can’t latch by himself and needs white noise which drives me nuts to get back to sleep.
    I’m the only breadwinner in our family in this economy, and I get to go teach graduate students algebra in less than 3 hours.
    Later today we start the process to hopefully get my six year old an IEP for first grade — autism spectrum disorder.
    Somebody send help.

  38. Growth spurts can happen before 3 weeks, too.Just an FYI, according to
    “Common times for growth spurts are during the first few days at home and around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months (more or less). Babies don’t read calendars, however, so your baby may do things differently.”

  39. @Bobbe- I feel for you. In fact, I’m right there with you on the crappy sleep right now, since my almost 6 month old hit her growth spurt a couple of days ago and last night nursed every two hours or so. And then the toddler woke up before 6….Anyway, I second the advice about the bottle, if you can make it work. My first was an all round crappy sleeper, and when she was little, having my hubby give one bottle a night was all that kept me sane. I’d time it so that I could get one 4 hour stretch of sleep, which is what I need to feel human.
    Good luck. I wish I could send help!

  40. @Bobbe is there a flavor of white noise that’s dealable for you? it might still work for the baby – I know the “Happiest Baby On The Block” white noise CD kept me and Mr. C up all night, but an ocean sounds CD worked for all of us…Or could you put in earplugs that would block the annoying white noise, but wouldn’t block a baby’s cry?
    The bottle advice is great if your boo will take one – mine never would and I did best with finding ways to sleep while she nursed. But it was very hard when she wouldn’t sleep at all.
    One way or another, you will get through this – you are doing a great job, and hugs to you!!

  41. Hi all, thanks for the sweet words and help…The real killer is that the baby will. not. sleep. at. night. unless he is within 1/4 inch (or better, on) me. We have tried without success several times to just transfer him over to the other side of the bed, within 1/4 inch or on my husband, and he is completely awake and quite upset within 5 minutes. He stopped letting me rock him to sleep for the night a few weeks ago — I have to get into bed with him and stick there. Transfers to bassinets, carseats, bouncers, etc. have not worked. I know that it’s just a stage, he can’t be this inflexible for the rest of his life and probably it’s just a few more weeks…..
    but it means I’m not sure how useful a bottle would be — how long would it take him to finally sleep with my husband if I just left the room entirely? would I even get more sleep? our house is not very big, there isn’t anywhere to go where you can’t hear the baby crying. I don’t understand the logistics of the bottle very well, either — do you pull it out of the fridge wen the last person goes to bed, and then hope it’s still not sour when the baby wakes up? do you run it under hot water while the baby fusses and wakes up even more? (this would completely kill the break for me, as well — the kitchen is right next to the only other spot that I could sleep.)
    We have tried the clock radio on static and a humidifer fan and ceiling fan as subs without success, but what will absolutely reliably, almost-every-time-almost-instantly put him back to sleep is the hair dryer, held on the bed so that it’s quite loud. I have been able to sleep with it on in the past, but I think the stress is getting to me– I just keep thinking about how much electricity we’re using that we can’t exactly afford, and wondering “can I turn it off now?” and …. argh. We only have two-prong outlets in our bedroom, so our laptops which are our only current means of carrying music/noise around don’t work there, and probably aren’t loud enough anyway…..
    He’s going to get bigger, and it’s going to get better. It’s the not being able to sleep while he snoozes blissfully away that got to me today.
    (Bigger, hehe — he’s a 15+ lb two month old– I almost clocked the pediatrician when she said that many babies sleep through the night at ten pounds…)
    Class today went relatively well, and I really do have a job I love which pays the bills (with not a cent to spare :-P) so I can talk myself into a better mood most days.
    Older son has a bizarre … something… that manifests as moderate sensory processing dysfunction in most environments but seems to spiral quickly into noncommunicative lashing out autism-like behavior in classrooms. We keep thinking he’s doing better, because the therapy helps so much at home, and then we find out that school is getting worse and worse…. I’m ready to get off the “he’ll be better soon” train and just get him some real help but by all that is holy, it is SO stressful, especially when it feels like we should just be able to wave a wand and have him generalize from home to classroom.
    Well, I’ve just used up the rest of my school time away from the baby writing this mega-off-topic post, but it felt so good to get it down on paper. Thanks for listening, all.

  42. Subway floor licking- AWESOME. My two year old and I were at grandma’s the other day. Little girl started to throw a tantrum, went face down on the floor and got really still. Grandma asked what she was doing. Muffled voice replies, “eat floor”.Anyway I stumbled onto ask moxie a few years back when my baby wouldn’t stop nursing in the evenings and would not sleep. I hope a new batch of mothers finds it with this post.

  43. @Bobbe, coming from someone whose 4-year-old just started sleeping consistently through the night, and whose 1-year-old wakes up every 2 hours and really only sleeps deeply next to me, latched onto my breast, I completely feel your pain.I became tired of my pediatricians telling me my babies were big enough to sleep through the night…I think for many, many kids, weight is absolutely no indicator of their ability to sleep through the night. So…I just stopped talking about it. To anyone (except for here). When asked how my kids sleep, I generally say, “Fine” and move on.
    As for the white noise, both of my kids sleep with noise machines. I use the traditional white noise setting instead of the other, more peaceful ocean settings and whatnot, because those settings have gaps in the noise and it would tend to let outside noise in.
    My son wouldn’t fall asleep in the beginning unless we turned on the vacuum cleaner next to him. Finally, duh, we thought to record the sound of it and burned a CD. We played it shockingly loud while he slept, but were able to lower the volume gradually over time. Could you try recording your hair dryer? You can also usually find recordings of household sounds to buy. Would be a lot safer and less annoying than the *actual* appliance…

  44. I’m one of those bad parents who couldn’t handle the cluster feedings. My daughter was a nicu baby who came home scheduled. She nursed every three hours, like clockwork, just as she had been fed in the nicu. With my son, who wanted to nurse all the time, I tried for awhile, then instituted a loose schedule. I know it’s no longer considered OK to schedule your baby, but at that point it was schedule or bottlefeed. I chose the schedule, and my son is still nursing at 13 months. I nursed him as long as he wanted per session, but I gave at least an hour or two between feedings. My daughter nursed for 18 months, even while I was pregnant with my son. So the schedule works for us.

  45. @Bobbe- I took the bottle out of the fridge went I went to bed. Breastmilk is fine at room temperature for hours.I can’t really help with the other issues… not because there are no solutions, but because my brain is Swiss cheese from my 6 month old’s all night nursing last night. I came here to look up potty training regressions because the constant pants wetting from an almost three year old who was pretty much potty trained is driving me insane, too.
    Anyway, my best advice is to sit down with your husband when you are both reasonably awake (i.e., not the middle of the night) and brainstorm ways to get you more sleep, given what you know about your son’s sleep behavior. Good luck.

  46. OMG OMG I slept the “whole” night last night for the first time since he was born.We troubleshot the latch issues (which he wasn’t having during the day) by: I went bra-less and in a much lighter top than previously, so I wasn’t futzing around with getting the breast free of the clothing and the right angle.
    Then, my husband and I decided that the main issue was that I wasn’t getting back to sleep when the baby was, so he (my husband) put me to bed with narrating a relaxing visualization of me not-waking-completely, getting the baby quickly latched, and falling right back asleep.
    I don’t know why, but it totally worked — I have no idea how many times the baby ate in the night, or how often, because I didn’t fully awaken until the alarm went off, and apparently since I was not-so-tense in the bed next to him, he didn’t need the white noise.
    I feel like a million bucks with some solid sleep under my belt.
    Thanks guys.

  47. @Bobbe – That’s awesome! So glad you figured out a way to get some sleep. We went through very similar stuff with my second until after the 6 month growth spurt, when we moved him to his own crib. So great that your husband and you are working together to figure out how to get you more sleep!

  48. when my milk increases after a growth spurt I can shoot it fully across the room. my eldest daughter thinks it’s great! lol!

  49. Just stumbled across this blog for the first time while I was passing some time while my son was nursing…again. As soon as I saw the words ‘growth spurt’ I took a big breath and relaxed. My six week old is going through a growth spurt!!! He has suddenly wanted to eat every hour (has consistently been eating every 2.5-3 hrs since birth), has become more fussy, and my boobs felt soooo full! I was thinking that he wasn’t latching on correctly and not getting enough milk, even though the # of wet/soiled diapers has been great. This just reassured this first time mom that everything is okay and stopped me from giving him formula thinking that he wasn’t able to breastfeed all the sudden. Can’t wait to read more!

  50. It is 12:45 in the morning and my wife and I are cracking up. We have been trying to figure out why our baby wont stop crying and only wants to feed, I guess now I know why…growth spurt! Thanks again for the laughs, your stories make me feel better. Pretty funny that “Dr Google” calms all.

  51. I have been quite perplexed for almost two weeks now trying to figure out why my six month old who had until two weeks ago finally been improving in the sleep dept, was again waking up repeatedly all night for these prolonged nursing sessions, but eating less during the day, until now. We cosleep, born out of sheer necessity, and we had gotten down to only 1 or 2 wakeups at night, and sleeping next to me, where he would nurse and then turn his head away when he was finished,until recently right before he turned six months old. Now he suddenly returns for more to eat, and this repeats several times, before he finally falls asleep, but instead of for several hours, it was for only 1 or 2 hours of sleep. Before this happened I was actually having these delusions of grandeur where I was able to get him to finally sleep in his crib at night, and for naps instead of in my arms.I have read the books, and the books have for the most part not helped us.
    After reading all these posts by you wise mamas I am starting to have hope that perhaps this sleep deprived nursing insanity will come to an end soon!!?

  52. Glad I’m not the only one who felt like an awful mom. My lo decided to have his growth spurt on vacation week 5. Fed around the clock and to top it off my mother inlaw got so furious with me for not letting her try to sooth him when clearly all he wants to do is eat at this moment. Sorry not sorry.

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