Growth spurts, your baby’s health and bath time

Growth spurts

In your baby's first year, it is possible that you will see about five growth spurts, occurring around 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months.

As your child gets older, the frequency of growth spurts slows down to a few months, or longer, apart.

A growth spurt means there is a rapid increase in length or height and weight.

According to growth researcher and director at the Emory University's Centre for the Study of Human Health, Dr Michelle Lampi, your youngster can grow as much as nine millimeter in length in just 24 hours.

With such a significant change happening, you little one might be out of sorts during a growth spurt.

One of the first signs is suddenly having a massive appetite so she might be feeding more frequently. While this may feel really draining if you're breastfeeding, it's only a short-term event, lasting for a day or two.

Another sign is suddenly waking repeatedly at night or refusing to nap during the day. She'll make up for the lost sleep.

When your child is having a growth spurt, give her regular massages. This can soothe her, plus rubbing her arms and legs will help if she has growing pains.

A baby can grow nine millimeters in length in just 24 hours.

Your baby's health

By observing your baby closely in the first few months of her life, you will learn how to distinguish what's normal from what could be a possible symptom of illness.

Symptoms to look out for include your baby looking miserable or sounding 'wet'. Mucus running down the back of her throat will make her cough, and sometimes her breathing will be noisy due to a blocked nose.

From the age of one month, you can give your baby a dose of infant paracetamol to help alleviate any discomfort if she has trouble breathing, eating or sleeping.

Check with your doctor before giving any other medications.

Bath time

Bathing your nine-week-old is a time for bonding, physical closeness and fun!

Follow these safe bathing rules:

• Prepare everything you need before you bring your baby into the bathroom, making sure it's all within arm's reach.
• Run the cold water first, adding hot afterwards. About 5cm of water is enough.
• Always check the water temperature using your elbow or the inside of your wrist before putting your baby in the bath. It must feel comfortable – neither too hot or too cold.
• Turn the taps off tightly before putting your baby into the bath. Get into the habit of running a bit of cold water last. That way, if the hot tap is accidentally turned on, the pipes will be full of cold water, not hot.
• Use a non-slip mat in the bath and beneath your feet (or knees), if necessary.
• Don't let your baby stand in the water unsupported.
• To prevent her bumping her head, cover the tap with a washer or a special cover.
• Always kneel by the bath so you can hold your baby securely – it will also prevent you straining your back.
• Never leave a baby or small child in the bath unattended, even for a second.