It’s inevitable. No matter how hard you try or how much you wish for it not to happen, eventually those tiny little peanuts you carried around in your body for months will grow. They will grow into toddlers, children, teens and eventually adults. The changes they will go through from newborn to fully grown will be immense and, often, intense.
But the physical changes do not always happen gradually. Sometimes, your little one will seem to sprout or change overnight. Waking up in the morning with curled toes in her pajamas or a change in his face. You might know a growth spurt is coming or it may catch you completely unprepared.
But these are some of the signs that your child is in the middle of a growth spurt:
Their clothes become too short
It’s pretty obvious that your child is growing when their clothes no longer fit but have you ever noticed that their pants or shirt sleeves will almost always get too short before their clothes become snug around the waist? That’s because children grow in “pieces.” First their limbs, then their torso, then their limbs, then their torso. And oftentimes, the limb growth will be faster than corresponding weight gain which is why most babies and kids will look deliciously chubby cheeked in one photo and like a bean pole a few months later.
They’ll be hungry all the time
It takes a lot of energy to grow and kids who are in the middle of a big growth spurt can seem to have an insatiable appetite. They’ll ask for a snack 20 minutes after breakfast. They’ll eat every bite of their lunch plus what their siblings left behind. They’ll have seconds or even thirds at every dinner. The term “bottomless pit” was definitely thought of by a mother with a child in the middle of a growth spurt!
They’ll be tired and cranky
Just like kids need tons of food fuel to grow, they also need extra rest to keep up with the hard work of growing. With younger babies and toddlers you’ll notice they nap longer and sleep better at night. Older kids whose schedules aren’t as flexible may become extremely ornery and cranky for lack of the sleep they need to grow. They may be more short-tempered in response to their exhaustion and harder to reason with.
Their bodies and faces will change
Have you ever noticed how a baby’s body is very different from a toddlers? Unless you’re a parent or have spent a lot of time with a young child, you probably wouldn’t even notice but most parents will tell you all of a sudden one day their baby just didn’t look like a baby anymore. Their proportions change into that of a toddler and even their faces mature. The same thing happens again during the preschool years, in middle childhood (around 8 years) and, obviously, during puberty.
They’ll become unusually clumsy
A baby that was a solid walker will suddenly being falling down all the time again. An older child who is excelling at a sport may surprisingly be unable to do tasks which they’ve been proficient at for years. This phenomenon is partly because As a child’s body grows, their muscles can tighten causing range of motion restriction and growing pains during times of rapid growth can impede an athlete’s ability to practice, compete and perform. But the clumsiness also has to with the fact that their center of gravity is changing rapidly. for example, the way a dancer is used to holding her body to perform a movement may longer work as her proportions change.
They may have aches and pains
Not all kids have growing pains and not all kids will experience it when they grow. And even though modern medical advice does not show a link between growing and “growing pains,” as a child who experienced it and a mommy with children going through it in addition to the fact that growing pains are more likely to occur during the years of rapid growth (during early childhood and again around the beginning of puberty), I’m not going to rule out the phantom pains as being related to growth. The discomfort, which can vary from a dull ache to a sharp pain, will usually subside on its own over time.
What other signs of growing have you noticed in your kids?