Baby growth spurts, high-frequency days, just plain H-E-Double Hockey Sticks; whatever you call them–they are an inevitable part of mothering an infant. If you happen to be breastfeeding, they can seem especially trying. Like all the stressful parts of life, they follow a pattern. Knuckle down, mama. Here we go.
Stage 1 of Baby Growth Spurts:
Denial, or “You can’t possibly be hungry, you ate twenty minutes ago!”
You’re not imagining it, Baby is already hungry again. You will probably exhaust another 20-30 minutes in denial. You’ll check the diaper. You’ll rock and bounce. You will shake every toy possible in front of Baby. You will do all of the things that normally elicit a smile only to be met with blood-curdling screams. Finally, you’ll whip out a breast and it will be like magic. By the end of this experience, you’ll just go for the boob first, but you’re not there yet.
Stage 2 of Baby Growth Spurts:
Anger, or “Why are my partner’s nipples completely useless?”
You feed the baby and run out for the world’s fastest Target trip. No, seriously, you even do drive up. You run in for the refrigerated stuff (because apparently, your older children don’t stop wanting to eat just because the baby is constantly attached to your breast). Your partner frantically texts to inform you that the little darling a.) is hungry again and b.) absolutely will not take the bottle. You rush through the self-checkout and decide to pass on the Starbucks trip, grumbling about your partner and their completely useless nipples.
Stage 3 of Baby Growth Spurts:
Bargaining, or “Okay, can you please just give me an hour before I have to feed you again?”
At this point, you’re tired. You’re really tired. You try to broker a deal with your baby, the universe, or whatever deity you believe in. You’re getting desperate and will offer up just about anything to get a break. Hang in there, mama. The break is coming.
Stage 4 of Baby Growth Spurts:
Depression, or “This is never going to end, is it?”
They say if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I disagree. If baby ain’t happy, however…try and squeeze in a few moments of self-care.
Stage 5 of Baby Growth Spurts:
This is when you finally just unhook the nursing bra the second you hear a whimper. No, baby shouldn’t be hungry right now, but you know (s)he just is.
Thankfully, in a day or so, you’ll hear a cry, go to nurse, and discover that baby just wants a diaper. At this point, hand him or her off to your partner and take a nap. You’ve earned it.