Does my baby need more milk on a growth spurt?

My 3 week old nurses every hour and is never satisfied. What can I do? (October 2018).


your baby needs to grow nutrients and calories. If your baby is growing fast, it may give the impression that it is hungrier than usual.

During a growth spurt, you may notice the following:

  • Your baby craves food more often (Block 2013, Mohrbacher and Stock 2003)
  • Your baby drinks longer than usual (LLLI 2006, Wagner 2012)
  • Your baby It's finickier and more cumbersome on your chest than usual (LLLI 2006, Wagner 2012)
  • Your baby will still feel hungry after the vial if you are feeding baby food.
  • Your Baby Eats and Drinks Much More Than Else Should It Get Solid Nutrition

As long as your baby is generally healthy, these clues do not indicate any problem regarding growth or eating habits.

As soon as the growth spurt passes, you will notice that everything is returning to its normal rhythm that you may need to adjust in terms of quantity.

Babies are different, some show no difference in feeding during a growth spurt, others have no noticeable growth spurt. As long as your baby is steadily gaining weight, you do not need to worry about whether or not there is a growth spurt.

Talk to your doctor or midwife about your baby's drinking habits. Especially if something changes suddenly and lasts longer than two days.

Should I change anything during mealtime during a growth spurt?

If you are breastfeeding:

  • Feed your baby as needed and offer him the breast when hungry . In a growth spurt, your baby will be more likely to starve - up to 18 times in 24 hours (LLLI 2006, NHS Choices 2013a, Block 2013). Their milk production adjusts to increased milk requirements in one to two days (LLLI 2006, NHS Choices 2013a).
  • Accept help from whoever. Breastfeeding can be very stressful during a growth period. Take every opportunity to take some time off to sleep or just eat in peace.
  • Try to take different breastfeeding positions. Staying in one position for a long time can be very uncomfortable for both of you and lead to tension. Try it lying on a sofa or in bed.

If you bottle-feed your baby, you do not have to change too much. Pay attention to compliance with the mixing ratio according to the weight of your child.Trust your feeling, but keep in mind the following:

  • Do not rush to follow-on milk, just stick to pre-food. Your baby may be full for longer. But his digestive system is not mature enough for that and your baby may get stomach ache or flatulence (BHNT nd). The baby food contains all the nutrients your baby needs (NHS Choices 2014).
  • This also applies to the well-intentioned tips to use more powder or less water to make the milk mushier. That too can cause discomfort in your baby.
  • Do not overfeed your child. If you give him an extra dose for a day or two, that's no problem. However, if you do this for longer, your baby will soon increase more than it does well.

If your baby is less than six months old, your breast milk or baby food will contain everything your child needs, even if it does not seem full after drinking. (NHS Choices 2013b).

If you want to start feeding, please discuss this with your doctor first.

Are there any other reasons that can make my baby hungrier?

It's likely that your baby will have a growth spurt if it's more hungry. Investigations have shown, however, that other causes are possible.

Breastfed babies often drink more when a disease is reported, such as: As a common cold or ear infection (LLLI 2006).

Breastmilk contains many antibodies that can counteract the disease (LLLI 2006). But it may also be that your child is simply looking for your closeness and the security it feels when breastfeeding.

Harmless diseases can also cause a weaker appetite in your child. Sometimes it even goes down during this time (ABA 2014, Piwoz et al 2012). But if it feels better again, your child will drink more and gain weight again (RCPCH 2009).

If your baby enjoys breast-feeding very much, it may also be that she wants to drink more when she feels overwhelmed or is just in a bad mood. Anything that upsets the orderly daily routine can unsettle your baby - and make you hungry (Gartner et al 2005, NCT nd, NICE 2011).

How do I know if my baby is full?

Occasionally your baby may not be full despite regular breastfeeding. You can tell by the following signals:

  • Your baby is impassive.
  • It soaks less than six diapers a day (if it's older than 5 days) (ABA 2014, Healthtalk Online 2013).
  • His skin looks pale and does not retract when gently pulled up (signs of dehydration).
  • Your child is gaining little or nothing (ABA 2014, Healthtalk Online 2013).

If any of these symptoms apply, ask your doctor for an appointment.After an examination and weighing, you will receive suggestions and suggestions on what to do next.

You can also check if your baby has any problems drinking. If you are breast-feeding:

  • Make sure that your baby has the nipple all over his mouth. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns about getting everything right.
  • Offer your baby a breast whenever it feels hungry. This stimulates milk production and your baby can drink more often.

If you are feeding baby food:

  • Make sure you prepare the meals correctly. If you take too much water, the milk becomes too thin and contains less nutrients (Crawley and Westland 2013).

But do not worry too much if your baby does not drink enough. There is usually a simple reason for this. Together with your doctor or midwife, you will find a solution to give your child all the nutrients he needs to thrive.


ABA. 2014. Baby weight gains . Australian Breastfeeding Association.

BHNT. nd. Formula feeding: 6 weeks to a year . Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Block SL. 2013. Delayed Introduction of Solid Foods to Infants: Not so Fast! Pediatric Annals . 42 (4): 143-147.

Crawley H, Westland p. 2013. Infant milks in the UK: A practical guide for health professionals . First Steps Nutrition Trust.

Gartner LM, Morton J, Lawrence RA. et al. 2005. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics 115 (2), 496-506.

Healthtalk Online. 2013. Breastfeeding: monitoring baby's growth .

LLLI. 2006. Why does my baby suddenly want to nurse constantly? La Leche League International.

Mohrbacher N, Stock J. 2003. The breastfeeding answer book Third ed. Schaumburg, Illinois: La

NCT. nd. Breastfeeding: my baby's feeding pattern has changed . National Childbirth Trust.

NHS Choices. 2013a. Breastfeeding: the first few days . NHS Choices, Health A-Z.

NHS Choices. 2013b. Your baby's first solid foods . NHS Choices, Health A-Z.

NHS Choices. 2014. Types of infant formula. NHS Choices, Health A-Z.

NICE. 2011. Breastfeeding problems . National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Clinical Knowledge Summaries.

Piwoz E, Sundberg S, Rooke J. 2012. Promoting healthy growth: what are the priorities for research and action? American Society for Nutrition. Adv Nutr . 3: 234-241.

RCPCH. 2009. Understanding growth charts: what they tell you about your child's growth . UK - WHO Growth Charts - Fact Sheet for Parents.

Wagner CL. 2012. Counseling the Breastfeeding Mother . Medscape Reference.

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