What are signs of a growth spurt


Under a Growth spurt one understands a clear one Increase in growth rate, mostly related to the increase in body size per unit of time.
But also that Body weight and head circumference are important for assessing growth in children.

What are normal growth spurts?

In humans, the growth spurts usually take place at certain stages of life. So grow Babies right away fastest after giving birth and Young people between the ages of 12 and 15 particularly quickly in a relatively short time. In girls, the growth spurt usually begins about two years before the boys, but is usually less pronounced.
The growth of children and adolescents is determined by the doctor using so-called percentiles according to the Body size determination documented and compared. The average body size or the body weight of a cohort of the same age is plotted on this and thus simplifies the assessment in each individual case.

If the body size deviates significantly from the norm, one could Growth disorderare present.


In human growth there are primarily growth hormones as the Somatotropinof vital importance. A lack on these Hormones leads to Short stature, a excess however to Giant growth.
Somatotropin is used in the Pituitary gland (Pituitary gland) and can be formed by various Stimuli either increased as well as are released at a reduced rate. A increased release of somatotropin from the gland can through Lack of energy substrates, by Sportsor Fast, protein-rich food, mental stress or fevercaused. Whereas Somatostatin, an inhibitory hormone that inhibits the release of somatotropin belittles.
Physiologically it will during sleep the most Somatotropin in the pituitary gland educated.
The age with the highest production of this hormone is puberty, since the sex hormones such as estrogens and androgens, which are increasingly formed there, in turn stimulate the release of growth hormones.

Read more on the topic:Growth hormones


Overall, the big growth spurts can be seen in three phases divide: the at Babies, in the Toddler age and in the puberty.

In the first two years of life do babies for example eight growth spurts by. This is also called the the first phase the growth spurts are summed up and the children are growing fastest in your entire life during this time. Average about 43 centimeters per year, then a little less from year to year. The growth spurts during this time usually last about one week and come in one to two month intervals in front. Usually both is then done a physical one as well as a mental development boost. That also plays a role Nerve growth plays an important role, which children often find confusing and annoying. This is also reflected in the behavior.
The children are mostly in this phase whimsy and more exhausting than usual. You can Not so to sleep well and search increases the permanent Contact to your caregivers. you are more affectionate and the Mood very changeable. Babies often have more during a growth spurt hunger and need to be breastfed more often than usual.

The second major growth phase starts from third year of life and lasts until puberty. During this time children grow steadily, strong growth spurts however are rather unusual. On average, the body length gain in this phase is around five to six centimeters per year.

The third and final growth phase is in the pubertyand begins in girls something earlier than with boys, usually about two years before that. This growth spurt is also called "Pubic growth spurt" designated. At girl he usually joins 13 years one and from this point on they still grow on average 15 to 20 centimeters. Boys grow from that 14 years of age mostly about 20 to 25 centimeters.

Average so about seven to nine centimeters per year. At the end of puberty, the final height is usually reached. For girls this is around the age of 15 and for boys around the age of 17. In addition to the externally visible change in body size, during a growth spurt can also Bone pain or joint pain in the form of Growing painsoccur. Also increased appetite and fatigue are possible.

Read more on the topic: Growing pains

These symptoms show a growth spurt

Is a Baby in the growth spurt, it usually shows typical behaviors that indicate an increase in growth.
It is possible that the child sleeps less or at shorter intervals than usually. This is particularly noticeable and associated with the shorter sleep phases Increase in appetite. Toddlers and infants are often more clingy and cry more when they are growing.
A growth spurt can occur during puberty increased sleeping show and growing pains in legs or arms.

Does a growth spurt develop a fever?

fever is during growth spurts rather unusual and in most cases it has a different cause. Children can develop a fever for many reasons, sometimes unrecognizable.
From 37.5 ° C one speaks of increased temperature and from 38 ° C of fever. It shows the body's natural defense reaction to germs and is an important part of the training of the immune system, especially during development.

In principle, fever does not need to be clarified or treated by a doctor immediately. However, if the patient does not respond to lowering the fever or has a high fever above 39 ° C, it is advisable toFebrile seizures or if you feel very ill to see a pediatrician. Paracetamol is recommended as a fever reduction, which can be given in consultation with the doctor and adapted to the weight of the child.

Also read our topic:Fever in the baby

Do you have circulatory problems during the growth spurt?

During a growth spurt it can be especially related to puberty too Circulatory problemscome. A Syncope (short-term loss of consciousness)takes place when there is a sudden reduction in blood flow to the brain.
The reason for this is the ongoing adaptation of blood volume and blood pressure to increase in length with additional trigger factors such as Menstruation, standing for a long time, drinking too little or hypoglycaemia. Even if in most cases no worrying reasons for the syncope can be determined, diseases such as heart problems should be ruled out.

Growing pains

Growing pains often occur during strong growth phases in a child's development. They are characteristic nocturnal occurrence and the localization in the Legswhat often with the feeling of a nocturnal Calf cramp is compared. However, the pain disappears quickly after a few minutes.

Many children feel Massage, warmth and care in acute pain as relieving. If this pain occurs frequently, you should talk to you Pediatrician because other diseases can also trigger such pain and should or can possibly be treated. A cause for the development of growing pains has not yet been found, since normal growth does not actually cause pain.

Read more on the subject at: Growing pains

Does a growth spurt also lead to growing pains?

Some children may experience growing pains during a growth spurt. These pains characteristically occur between the late afternoon and evening, and children occasionally wake up from the pain at night.
In fact, this form of pain is one of the most common in children. Typically, the muscles of the calves and thighs hurt, not the joints.

If there are accompanying symptoms such as a high fever, rashes or severe pain during the day, there is probably another cause and it is advisable to see a pediatrician.
Even if the pain occurs over a long period of time and the child is unusually weak, further diagnostics must be carried out.

Read more on the topic: Pain while growing

Baby growth spurt

Newborns experience many growth spurts, especially in the first year of life. These are usually in eight different growth phases divided. The duration of an attack can vary widely, from 3 days to 4 weeks. As a rule, these growth phases in babies go together not only with growth in height, but also with motor and mental achievements and certain behavioral patterns.

How in the first growth spurt there is a great need for closeness to the mother and the child begins to recognize the mother by its smell is a pronounced one ‚‚ Strangers ‘‘ characteristic of the second phase. The third phase is characterized by a greater appetite for milk or the slow cessation of rituals like that Nap. The fourth phase of growth usually begins between the third and fourth month of life, during which the baby often grows very quickly and restless nights are the order of the day.

The next phase is primarily about gaining motor skills, such as turning and turning independently first crawling exercises embossed. In addition, the first efforts to speak take place, even if at the beginning there are more individual syllables. By the end of the sixth phase (around 9 months), most babies can now crawl. But a certain understanding of the parents' reaction is now also established in the newborn. Clear signals such as 'Yes' or 'No' are now slowly being understood.

Often times, babies can get theirs after the seventh growth spurt first word speak. However, this phase is often accompanied by fits of anger. At the end of the eighth phase, many babies can now walk slowly, but here they often become strangled again.
Please also read our topic:

The growth phases of babies again at a glance:

  • Phase 1: From the 5th week onwards, babies smile and are more attentive. Above all, they often need breast milk and physical closeness.
  • Phase 2: From the 8th week onwards, babies become strangers and develop the ability to see colors. The children can now be soothed with toys.
  • Phase 3: From the 3rd month the babies get hungry faster and are more often tearful. You should slowly get used to rituals.
  • Phase 4: Between the 3rd and 4th month the nights of the children get more restless, patience and physical closeness can help here.
  • Phase 5: Between the 6th and 7th month the children start crawling and turning and start their first attempts at speaking. Encouraging the children is particularly important at this stage.
  • Phase 6: From the 9th month the children speak their first sentences and move more and more independently. Clear rules should be introduced now.
  • Phase 7: From the 11th month onwards, babies improve their motor skills even more, lots of toys are good occupation and tasks can already be assigned.
  • Phase 8: Between the 13th and 14th month the children become more and more moody and the defiant phase begins. Here, too, patience and, above all, clear boundaries are helpful.

Growth spurt in the toddler

The different growth phases in small children no longer follow a precise sequence, as is the case with newborns. However, the individual phases also have distinctive features Changes in behavior of the child, but the order differs from child to child.

The development is also influenced by external influencessuch as the presence of larger siblings, whether the child is in daycare and the relationship with the parents. The Defiance phase is very exhausting for many parents. The child often stubbornly ignores the parents and usually reacts to words like 'No' with defiance and anger. The point here is that the child tries to find its own limits and assert its own needs.

In contrast, children often long for one in the clinging phase close relationship with parents. This is the time when children come to their parents at night and want to sleep in their parents' bed. Many parents perceive this phase to be very harmonious.

During isolation, children want things once too alone without the parents Companies. The child's self-confidence is strengthened here and slowly begins to establish social contacts in kindergarten. But even a phase of strong physical growth is not long in coming. For many children this is also included Pain connected. These occur above all at night and often disappear after a few minutes. If the pain becomes too severe, you should consider consulting a pediatrician.

Find out more about the topic here:Defiance phase

Growth spurt in puberty

The puberty joins girl usually aged 10 years a, at Boys first two years later. This phase is characterized by strong physical and psychological changes in the children. The main focus of the physical change is the complete one Development of the genital organs and the Growth in size.

That's how it starts with girls Breast growth at and after a certain time put the regular Bleeding one that are a sign of sexual maturity. In addition, girls notice the first signs of pubic hair from here.

In boys, the testicles continue to develop and grow larger. This process goes hand in hand with the growth of the penis. At around 13 years of age, the body begins to produce sperm. In addition, boys come to the during this time Broken voice and it starts slowly Beard growth at.

Girls and boys also show pronounced growth in height of approx. 10-12 cm per year, but the point in time can vary greatly. The focus of the psychological changes is primarily on training one's own personality, the Differentiating from the family and a more reflective consideration of one's own behavior and its consequences.

Also read our topic:Stages of puberty

When does adolescent growth occur in girls?

In girls, it occurs after the onset of puberty at the average age of around 13 years to the last big growth spurt.
That's about two years before the boys' adolescent growth spurt. During puberty, the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are increasingly released, which also stimulates the production of some growth hormones. Thus takes place at the same time Growth in length and the Further development of the genital organs instead of. Most girls stop growing two years after their first period begins.

When does the adolescent growth spurt occur in boys?

Boys can in their final growth spurt in the puberty once again Grow 15 to 20 cm. Aged 11-14 (sometimes later) boys can go into that puberty come and an average of two years after entry then there is a growth spurt.
As with girls, the sex hormone cycle in boys is also linked to that of growth hormones, so that as the sexual organs mature, they grow in length in parallel.


Growth spurts are commonly biologically preprogrammed and necessary for healthy physical and mental development of children and adolescents.

However, in some cases this not really get lost, either too strong or too weak are pronounced and may be associated with further complications. These may require targeted therapy.

During the pubic growth spurt, the lateral curvature of the Spine (Scoliosis) the strongest. If this phase runs unevenly or particularly quickly, it can lead to a Imbalance come and through Back pain cause. Is the Scoliosis severe pronounced and that growth still not completed, for example physical therapy and wearing one Corsets to be necessary. In very extreme cases may even have to be the spine operational be straightened up.

Also Knock knees and bow legs occur relatively often in young children. Shortly after the start of the run a knock-kneed position is even that Normal findings. This corrects himself usually by itself up to the age of six and does not require any further therapy. However, it shows no spontaneous correction or take the Misalignment even to, should regular check-ups occur. If the leg deformity is corrected in prepubertal growth, it can be straightened relatively easily in a small surgical procedure. If the growth is complete, however, it usually requires several extensive interventions.

Also a morbid one Short stature (Short stature) or Tall stature (Tall stature) is conceivable in children and adolescents. This is what you talk about when the child comes to the three percent of the smallest or largest among their peers counts. Reason for this may be a lack or excess of growth hormones be what one medicinal can handle. For one thing, exist artificially manufactured growth hormone preparations, which, with decreased production by the body, can help achieve relatively normal growth in height. This can be done, for example, as part of a Hypothyroidism, one delayed onset of puberty or other chronic diseases be the case. On the other hand, it can be extreme rapid growth from drugs be braked. This is sometimes necessary when a very large body is expected and the growth spurts are so rapid that they cause additional discomfort. For example, you can thereby create a Prevent scoliosis or their Reduce expressionwhich otherwise often causes lifelong back problems for those affected.

An excess of growth hormones is also with one Pituitary gland tumor conceivable. Both short and tall stature can also hereditary be conditional and must therefore be precise in each individual case to be clarified. The drug therapy is actually an intervention in the Hormonal balance and should therefore only go through doctor's prescription and carried out under strict control.

Read more on the subject at: Stunted growth

How long does a growth spurt last?

baby grow a lot in the first year and go through several growth spurts. As a rule, a growth spurt lasts only a few days at.
Of course, this cannot be generalized. Sometimes it is also difficult to differentiate between a growth spurt and the process of teething in young children, especially when these phases merge into one another.
After this first large growth phase with increasing length in phases, the children then grow steadily approx. 5 cm per year until they reach the next significant growth phase.

Are there really 8 growth spurts?

Not yet scientifically explained, but what many parents have observed in common is that there are many infants 8 distinctive growth spurts in the first two years of life experience.
Often these phases of the increased increase in length growth and possibly increased appetite coincide with the so-called milestones of development. These describe important development steps in the area of ​​motor skills, language and social behavior. These, too, are often accompanied by certain behaviors, such as increased crying, stubbornness or strangeness.

Additional information

Quality assurance by: Dr. Nicolas Gumpert | Last change: 11.05.2021