How to spot the onset of a growth spurt in your child

People tell you lots of things when you are pregnant. They offer a ton of well-meaning advice and hints and tips. Occasionally, you will hear a gem of a piece of advice that you’ll hold close on your journey through parenthood – most of it you’ll discard, and that’s how it should be. You’ll figure it out on your own through trial and error.

One of the things no one ever mentioned to me was what happens when your children are having a growth spurt. Here’s what I’ve learnt along the way:

Eating non stop

Have you noticed that your child seems to be eating non-stop? Always hungry? Can’t seem to fill them up? They could be having a growth spurt.

Even our fussiest eater eats tons during a growth spurt. Normally on a school day I struggle to get breakfast into him, during a growth spurt, well, he’s had two breakfasts before he leaves the house!

As soon as he gets out of school he’s doing his best – stranded on a desert island without food – impression and needs 20 snacks to see him through the trip home. On reaching home, he can’t understand why dinner isn’t on the table whilst I’m still unloading the daily debris from the car.

Yep – growing again!

Challenging behaviour

Any parent will know that toddlers can be a challenge at the best of times, threenagers are seriously hard work, four and five year olds continue to challenge us, and well, quite frankly every age can bring the calmest of parents to their knees sometimes.

During a growth spurt though – well, all I can say is brace for impact! Even the most placid of children can become terrors during a growth spurt.

Feed them, feed them some more, cuddle them LOTS and LOTS, even when they say they don’t want you to and remind them how much you love them. Then pour yourself a large glass of wine!

Sleeping more

Being more tired than normal seems to be a sign of a growth spurt too. When they are growing the children may randomly fall asleep in the car, fall asleep quickly and/or be harder to wake up in the morning.

They are putting so much energy into growing that it makes them more tired. We’ve also noticed that it’s common to have an emotional outburst, often uncharacteristically and then fall asleep very quickly afterwards, often in a random location.

Short trousers

May sound obvious, but, I tell you, this literally happens OVERNIGHT! One day, they will be wearing their favourite skinny jeans, or chilling in their comfy tracksuit bottoms, and the next day those are up around their shins and nowhere near their ankles.

I mean, how does that even happen? You find yourself placing an emergency online order for trousers, or grabbing a few pairs during your supermarket shop to tide you over until you can re-stock their draws and wardrobe!

Growing pains

Growing pains. I actually never thought these were a real thing but I’m pretty convinced two of the children have had these. Currently, about once every eight weeks our five year old complains of pains in his feet. Never in the day when he’s busy, always at night time. Most of the time a good foot massage solves the problem enough for him to get to sleep but once he’s had to have a dose of Calpol to take the edge off.  This is always followed by him complaining his shoes feel tight or tighter than they were.

What’s your experience of growth spurts? Do any of these things sound familiar?


  1. A most interesting read and most likely explains the behaviour of one of my twin toddlers at the moment.

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