Everything you need to know about infant growth spurts by Brittney Kirton

Posted on November 6, 2012

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Everything you need to know about infant growth spurts

Infancy is a time of frequent adjustments for babies and their parents. Just when you feel your baby is finding their way into a pattern, everything changes. Some of these changes are helped by growth spurts. It has been my experience as a newborn care consultant that parents haven’t been prepared for these changes and need assistance determining a growth spurt and assurance that their baby is in fact healthy and ‘normal’.


Infants, on average, will experience approximately 5-7 growth spurts in a year. Most parents claim to notice changes when their babies are 7-10 days old, between 2-3 weeks old, between 4-8 weeks (6 being the most common), then again at 3 months, 6 months and 9 months. Signs of a growth spurt typically last 2-3 days, but in some instances could last for a week.

Signs of growth spurts:

Increased frequency or non-stop breastfeeding – an increase in size requires an increase in calories. During a growth spurt, it may seem like your baby is feeding non-stop or every hour or two. While this provides extra nutrients for the baby, it also helps increase your milk supply. Short and frequent breastfeeding sessions are more effective at increase milk supply versus longer and infrequent sessions. Your baby is preparing your body for the increase of breast milk that they will soon require. Supplementing your baby with expressed breast milk or artificial breast milk is not necessary and could decrease your milk volume as it interferes with the ‘supply and demand’ balance that determines your milk supply.

Cranky of difficult to calm infant – many parents say their calm baby has suddenly become cranky or difficult to soothe during a growth spurt. Some babies are also fussy at the breast, and tough to latch or unlatch. Many parents see this as a refusal of the breast or think that milk production has stopped or decreased. In reality, most babies are extra fussy because they are over tired. All those extra feeding sessions result in shorter naps or shorter nighttime sleeping patterns which make both the baby and the parent a little more irritable.

Extended sleep after non-stop feeding – as the growth spurt ends and the infant has stocked up on nutrients, many babies spend the next couple of days in long periods of sleep. The reason for this change is that the endocrine system that is responsible for releasing growth hormones is most effective when we are at rest. It is recommended that you do not wake your baby during this time. Infants can gain 1-3 oz and grow 1 cm in length in 24 hours – no wonder they sleep so much!

Tips for moms:

Take care – stay well-nourished and hydrated – while your baby is spending more time feeding, it is important that you take extra care of yourself so that you can keep up with your baby’s demands. Water bottles around the house (especially where you do most of your breastfeeding) and easy to grab healthy snacks will go a long way during this time.

Get household help – ask your partner, a family member or a friend to help with the house work, meal preparation, or help with your baby so you can get some much needed rest. Remember, stress has a huge impact on milk production and a happy, calm mom means a happy, calm baby.

If you are still concerned that you may not be producing enough milk or that the breastfeeding challenges are too much to cope with, seek help from a qualified Lactation Consultant. They can help you devise a breastfeeding plan, determine how much milk your baby is taking during a feeding session, and assist with a fussy baby during breastfeeding. I commend you for your dedication to breastfeeding. It isn’t always easy, but neither is parenting.

About Brittney Kirton IBCLC, RHN

About Life Stages Feeding

I had two passions growing up: health and wellness, and working with children. In 2007, I started studies at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. CSNN helped me develop a wide base knowledge on many dietary issues though my interest and experience lies in working with pre and post natal clients, infant and childhood nutrition, and those suffering from allergic, inflammatory, and digestive conditions.

While I enjoyed clinical practice as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I missed working closely with children, especially infants. In 2008 I was introduced to a Postpartum Doula and was intrigued by the support they offered and knew I wanted to combine practices. In order to support new mothers further, I enrolled in The Breastfeeding Course for Healthcare Practitioners offered at Douglas College. This program inspired me to take her studies in Breastfeeding further. Six months later, I relocated to the United States to attend the University of California San Diego Lactation Consultant Program. I completed my studies and received the designation of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2011.

I strive to provide my clients with current, fact-based feeding and nutrition advice for each and every Life Stage.

Brittney Kirton IBCLC, RHN


Lactation Consultant

What is a Lactation Consultant?
TThe International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential identifies a knowledgeable and experienced member of the maternal-child health team who has specialized skills in breastfeeding management and care.

IBCLCs have passed a rigorous examination that demonstrates the ability to provide knowledgeable, comprehensive lactation and breastfeeding care. Attainment of the IBCLC credential signifies that the practitioner has demonstrated knowledge to:

  • Work together with mothers to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems
  • Collaborate with other members of the health care team to provide comprehensive care that protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding
  • Encourage a social environment that supports breastfeeding families
  • Educate families, health professionals and policy makers about the far-reaching and long-lasting value of breastfeeding as a global public health imperative.

International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners

What can an IBCLC help with:

  • Assistance with breastfeeding positions and latch techniques
  • Breastfeeding education and support
  • Infant feeding and supplementation plans
  • Management of breast and nipple issues (nipple pain, engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis)
  • Strategies for increasing and decreasing milk production
  • Strategies for weaning and introduction to solids foods
  • Strategies for returning to work (pumping, feeding schedules, introducing bottles)
  • Nutrition advice for breastfeeding mothers
  • Inducting lactation and relactation
  • Assistance transitioning infant from bottle to breast
  • And much more

Home Consultation - Initial Visit (90 minutes) - $130.00
Subsequent Visits (60 minutes) - $80.00

Registred Holistic Nutritionist

A Holistic Nutritionist is someone who uses food as a means for preventing disease and working to reduce the symptoms of disease by ensuring the body is receiving enough nutrients in order to heal itself. Holistic Nutrition bases itself around the principles of allowing food be your medicine. This is achieved through a diet rich in natural whole foods, supplementation, and lifestyle changes.


  • Group Health Seminars
  • Grocery Store Tours
  • Lifestyle Assessments
  • Meal Plans
  • Nurti-System Profiles
  • Nutritional Consulting
  • Cooking Instruction

Initial Clinic Consultation Package
This includes 2 separate consultations: (first visit 45 minutes) (second visit 30 minutes) The first visit includes assessment and information gathering to put together diets, meal plans, etc.
The second visit is to provide the client with this information 2 weeks of email / telephone support is also included $150.00
Nutrition Consultations (no meal plans) and Subsequent Consultations (45 minutes) $75.00

Holistic Nutritional Consulting is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure disease. If you believe you may have a health condition, see a medical or naturopathic doctor.

Postpartum Doula

The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.



Freshly Expressed Milk

  • Warm room 73-77°F / 23-25°C 4 hours
  • Room temperature 66-72°F / 19-22°C 6-10 hours
  • Insulated cooler / icepacks 59°F / 15°C 24 hours


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Placenta Encapsulation is the process of preparing placenta into capsules for ingestion.

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Contact Details

P: (778) 847-6464

E: Brittney.kirton@gmail.com

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