Toddler growth spurt: When does it happen and what to expect

Toddler growth spurt is the main reason why your mum, your mother-in-law, your aunties, and all of your old, wise female mother friends will tell you not go overboard with baby clothes or baby shoes. Why? Because they won’t be able to wear them all.

Babies grow so fast that you’d have to keep buying new clothes that would fit them. So, if you thought of binge-shopping cute onesies for newborns, try to stop yourself at six or eight, because cute onesies are not going to stop growth spurts.

But, you might be asking: What are they actually? What are growth spurts? What causes them? When do they occur? How long do they last? How do you know if your kid is already in the toddler growth spurt age? What does it mean if your baby is not growing fast enough? Should you be alarmed?

You will find all of the answers to these questions in this article. So, don’t stop for anything. Keep reading.

What is toddler growth spurt?

All it means is that your infant is going to grow at a rapid pace at a certain time in their very early childhood. As your baby goes through this stage, they not only grow in size but in weight as well.

As they age from their first year, you will notice changes in their face, the length of their extremities, and even their movement. They’ll become much more active as they grow.

According to Healthline, the entire first three years of life, all the way through toddlerhood, are considered to be a period of active growth, so keep that in mind as you watch your little one develop.

When does the toddler growth spurt occur?

Your child’s growth spurts come in three stages:

Years one to two

Between this age, your baby will have grown five inches in length and five lbs in weight. The growth also includes the circumference of your baby’s head, which means their brains are growing as well. It’s at this time that your baby will have learned how to walk. Because they’ll become so active, you will also notice, bit by bit, their baby fats lessening and their arms and legs lengthening.

Years two to three

By this time, your baby will have mastered walking. With that much activity, their growth in weight and height can slow down. At most, they will gain four lbs in weight and two to three inches in height.

Year three onwards

Your toddler will gain an average amount of weight when they get to this point. Your child’s paediatrician will refer to the baby and toddler growth chart to check if your baby is gaining the average weight and height for their age.

When do growth spurts last?

In the first year of your baby, growth spurts usually last about a day or two. But come their second or third years, growth spurts can last for up to weeks. Some growth spurts can be uncomfortable for some children, some are not. Knowing the key symptoms of a growth spurt can more accurately tell you when these toddler growth spurts last.

Growth spurt symptoms

Because your toddler’s bones are growing in this stage, it takes them some time to get used to finding their centre of gravity. Now, because they are new to this kind of growth, they might find themselves in situations where they’re unable to move properly. Oftentimes, they will crash into things and fall out of nowhere.

So, if you’re the type of mum who screams when you see your kid trip or hurt themselves, take a second to compose yourself and remember that it’s most likely just the toddler growth spurt. Your kids falling over or tripping or being unable to balance are all part of the toddler growth spurt – they are all normal. So, do not panic.

  • Increase and change in appetite

If you notice your baby having a sudden and increased interest in eating, blame it on the toddler growth spurt. Your baby’s bones, muscles, and organs are all growing, and they need all the energy they can get to sustain this growth. So, if you’re baby is stuffing their face with food, let them. That just means they’re growing.

You might also notice that they will have a growing interest in specific kinds of food. It is also at this time when your baby starts saying “no” to some previous favourites. Or, they will stick to eating a specific kind of food, like pasta or baked goods. All these are fine as long as you still continue to include healthy food choices in their meals.

We’re going to warn you: It’s going to be a long battle. Your kid will be consistent with their no’s. But, all you have to do is to stand your ground. Consistency is the secret to getting them to like healthy food choices. So, don’t give up. Keep feeding them their carrots and cucumbers. They will get used to them.

  • Frequent sleepiness and longer sleeping times

Ah, yes. Remember when your experienced mum friends told you “It gets better” at the beginning stages of your motherhood? It’s this. If you are noticing your baby sleeping longer during their afternoon naps and bedtime or if you’re noticing an inconsistency in their sleeping patterns, it’s because they are experiencing the toddler growth spurt.

How does this happen? It’s because of their pituitary gland. This organ is responsible for producing the human growth hormone. And, growth often occurs during one’s sleep. So, in order for the pituitary glad to do its work, the brain needs to signal the body to fall asleep. And that’s why your little one has been having random sleeping times during this stage.

So, you can definitely thank growth spurts for the improvement of your baby’s sleep and for finally giving you more time to sleep.

Can growth spurt cause fever

Growth spurts in toddlers do not directly cause fever. Fever in toddlers is typically associated with infections or illnesses rather than growth-related changes. During growth spurts, children may experience periods of rapid physical development, which can lead to increased hunger, sleep disturbances, and sometimes irritability.

However, fever is more commonly caused by infections, inflammation, or other underlying health issues. If a toddler develops a fever during a growth spurt, it’s important to consider other potential factors and consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance

What happens if baby is not growing fast enough?

A concern that parents might have is if their babies are not even growing or, at the very least, not growing at the rate that they should be. Their basis for the concern is their baby’s weight not falling within the average based on the baby toddler growth chart.

To settle this issue once and for all, parents ought to understand that the toddler growth chart is merely a chart. It’s not meant to accurately determine whether a baby is growing at the right rate and pace because at the end of the day, what matters is if your baby is growing at a rate that is relative to their scale.

The growth chart of each child is different. So, don’t get overboard with this toddler growth chart. You ought to trust your kid’s pediatrician that there is no cause for concern should your child be growing at a different pace compared to other children.

Another thing to note is that your child might only be experiencing constitutional growth delay, which is genetic. From the name itself, what happens in this condition is your child growing slower than the average. It usually occurs during the very early stages of your child’s life.

Though the growth of these babies are slower, that does not mean they will not grow any further. Upon reaching the age of two or three, your child will catch up to their normal height and weight.

How to support toddler’s growth spurt

Because of the symptoms that accompany your little ones during this stage, you might be compelled to think about how you can make them more comfortable. And to tell you honestly, there’s nothing more that we can advise apart from these two:

Sleeping will allow more growth to occur. So, let them sleep if they feel sleepy. And,

  • Take this opportunity to introduce them to healthy food

At best, give them a balanced meal: A little bit of everything – a little bit of protein, some healthy fats, and a bite of some yummy carbs.

While we’re on this topic, do not overfeed them nor give them too much processed or sugary food. You might end up with a picky eater. So, some fruits and vegetables, dairy foods, wholegrain cereals, protein, and fish are your best bets in giving your child a nutritious and balanced diet.

There you have it – all the lowdown you will need in order to better understand what toddler growth spurts are and what to do with them. If you are worried about your toddler not growing so fast, do not hesitate to consult your child’s paediatrician.

ALSO READ: Should you give your baby vitamins? A must-read for new parents

This article was first published in theAsianparent.


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