Making Peace With Developmental “Spurts”

In infants, we often talk about “growth spurts”.  These usually occur, in infants, at the age of 3-10 days, between 3-6 weeks, between 2-4 months, and at 6 and 9 months of age.  The exact timetable is up to the infant.  During these periods, the infant may wake more for reassurance, may stool and urinate more frequently, may grow in size/length/developmental ability, may need very frequent feeding and the infant has a higher need to be cuddled and loved.

We often talk about this in connection with babies.  What our society talks about less frequently is developmental “spurts” in older children.  The Gesell Institute talks about periods of equilibrium and disequilibrium that continue from infancy into adulthood.  Every year in your parenting, there will be stages of equilibrium and disequilibrium.

Often the “symptoms” look the same – the need to eat and sleep more, possibly with more waking in children younger than 10, the growth and change in developmental ability (often AFTER the growth is complete…many children are more “clumsy” when they have had a sudden spurt in growth), and the child may need more emotional connection and nurturing.

It is a complete fallacy of our society, a fall-out of children becoming miniature adults in our society, that we tend to view four and five year olds almost as adults with adult regulation skills.  We often forget children are growing and changing all the way through adulthood, and if we are lucky and honored as adults, we will keep emotionally and spiritually.

I think an important part of making peace with parenting is that children are always growing, always changing, always moving forward toward entering adulthood.  The best we can do is provide a scaffolding for trust and connection, love and acceptance and good mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Many blessings,

5 thoughts on “Making Peace With Developmental “Spurts”

  1. Hi Carrie, Thank you for this post today! My daughter just lost her first tooth. It feels like such a sacred moment when she needs emotional and spiritual support, a rite of passage. Have you written anything specifically that would give me some more to think about on this topic? Thank you!

    • So Exciting, Abby!
      I really haven’t…How about a special afternoon out with lunch in honor of losing that first tooth or something special like a charm bracelet or necklace you could add to it each time a tooth is lost?
      Glad to see you are still here reading!
      Many blessings to you and your daughter,

  2. Oh my, this resonates with me so deeply this week! My son just lost his two top front teeth (the two that, when the adult ones grow in, will make him look so grown up) and my daughter has had spurts of sassy and spurts of clingy that have left me reeling (instead of the smooth ‘rock’ I strive to be). I was reminded, also, this week that chronological age, physical age/appearance, and emotional age don’t always line up. This weekend is calling for connection and love! Peace to you.

  3. Pingback: A Letter to New Mothers |

  4. Hi Carrie, thank you for your post. I certainly notice these spurts in my older children and the ‘neediness’ and clumsiness that can accompany them. Thank you for your supportive, nurturing posts.

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