Q&A: three week growth spurt

Wow. No wonder I was so blocked. You all have a lot of need. I wish I had a magic wand.

I am working on a side project involving some of that, and will announce when the website's up, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, let's take a question from new mom Kat:

"Help! My baby is almost 3 weeks old, and he's gone nuts in the last day! All he wants to do is eat, and he'll nurse for an hour, and then I burp him, and then he just screams like he wants to eat again! What's wrong with my milk? He's gaining weight, but why is he so hungry? What am I doing wrong???"

It's the infamous Three-Week Growth Spurt! Many babies go through a big growth spurt at 3 weeks old. They basically need to eat around the clock for a few days while they grow, but this also brings up your milk supply if you're nursing to match their increased consumption level. (If you're feeding formula you'll notice an increase in consumption for a few days). It's totally normal, and you're doing nothing wrong.

The best thing to do is just nurse through it. Get yourself set up with water, some magazines, the remote control, and a lot of Food TV or DVDs (I recommend the series "Mad Men" for drama or "Arrested Development" for comedy). Then just nurse when the baby wants to. It should last anywhere from a day to a few days, and then go back to normal or stretch out between feedings. many babies also start sleeping for slightly longer stretches after coming through a growth spurt.

Yeah, you'll be tied down for a day or two, but it's just one of those things. And at least you get to sit down and just vegetate during it. (And catch up on Don Draper.)

Babies go through growth spurts at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Some babies hit all those spurts hard, while others hit one hard but the others are barely noticeable. So don't be alarmed if your baby becomes a ravenous locust at the growth spurts. But also don't be alarmed if you don't notice any difference. Babies are all individuals.