Have you noticed that suddenly one day your little one wanted to nurse more than her usual nursing habit? That is called growth spurt for breastfed babies 🙂 In my experience when my little one is still an infant, the in-between feedings is usually 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Welcome sleep deprivation!!! 🙂 But worry not, this too shall pass 🙂
When solids are introduced at 6 months the frequency of nursing decreases. And the more that your little one eats the lesser the nursing frequency. But please do not unnecessarily feed your little one with too much food just to decrease the nursing frequency. Doing so will lead to stomach problems and indigestion. Remember that their tummy is still small and breastmilk should still be their source of nutrition until they are one (1).
Growth spurt does not only mean physical growth but your little ones could also be achieving developmental milestones. I read before that if they are going through some developmental changes, breastfed babies wanted to nurse more because they need comfort. They are getting more and more aware with their surroundings so they are realizing more that they are a separate individual from Mommy, hence they wanted to get more close to you to seek comfort from this “separate world from Mommy”. I usually treat this as something special because there will come a time when they do not want to be seen with you and wanted more independence/privacy. So, enjoy this moment and treasure it 🙂 Once this stage passes, it will never come back.
But of course, I do understand the annoyance that you will sometimes feel during this stage because it will feel like you’ve nursed for almost an hour and then a short break only passes then your little one will want to nurse AGAIN! 🙂 I sometimes tell my little one, “NURSE AGAIN???”. You will feel tired or sleepy and might want to eat more (breastfeeding burns calories by the way). Some of my friends felt that as if they do not have enough milk because their little ones are feeding frequently. Please remember that there will NEVER be a time that you do NOT have milk. You have milk!!! I have a post where a grandmother from the Philippines who breastfed babies, and I know her well enough that my little one went to her creche and she is one of the great breastfeeding advocates in the Philippines. Grandmothers breastfeeding little ones is a method used by the breastfeeding advocates in the Philippines when the country was hit by a calamity called “Ondoy”. Do not believe me? See this post and you will surely be amazed. I, myself, was first doubtful with the thought but when I saw milk leaking out of this grandmother, I immediately became a believer. The key is always demand and supply. Our breasts will produce milk if a demand for it is exhibited. Hence, if this grandmother has milk then so can you! Please do not supplement with formula just because you feel that as if you do not have enough milk. Remember this grandmother to inspire you.
Well, at times like this during growth spurts, I always use my maternal instinct, which is just to look at how tiny my little one is and realize that I am needed to nurture and love my little one. I am my little one’s source of life and nutrition.
Just to help you anticipate growth spurts and developmental milestones, I am sharing with you this timeline so you can somehow anticipate it.
WHEN DOES A GROWTH SPURT OCCUR?
Usually during 3-10 days, 3-6 weeks, 2-4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. When my little one is older I noticed that demand for solid food is increased instead of breastmilk.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
In my experience, it lasts 3-5 days but I have friends who experienced it for only 2 days or some in 1 week.
Please also note that during this phase, they will become fussier than normal. So, check the calendar I mentioned above if your little one’s age falls along that timeline. Your maternal instinct will let you know if the fussiness of your little one is normal or not.
Do not worry, things will get better as your little one gets older. Just breastfeed your little one as frequently as possible especially during these stages. I’ve been through that stage that you are having, and realize that you are not alone in this journey. Stay strong Mommy! 🙂