As growing pains are a thing in adolescents, with bone, joint and muscle aches, why isn’t that pain also constantly present for infants and toddlers who are growing at a much faster rate with their bodies subject to greater developmental stresses?



As growing pains are a thing in adolescents, with bone, joint and muscle aches, why isn’t that pain also constantly present for infants and toddlers who are growing at a much faster rate with their bodies subject to greater developmental stresses?

In: Biology

Babies and toddlers have the same growing pains for both their body and their developing minds.

Their perception of the pain may be different from when they are older. In general, they will be more fussy and easily irritated, sleep and eat poorly, or just cry for no reason. For some babies and their unfortunate parents, these symptoms are not too different from the everyday experience.


“Growing pains” have not been demonstrated to correlate with growth spurts. It is a term used to describe limb pain in children between around six and twelve, but the causes are still unknown and there is no link with body growth. So the premise of this question doesn’t quite work.

I always assumed ‘growing pains’ was a euphemism for the emotional trauma of adolescence, not actual physical pain.

Huh, well TIL.

Had to give my son Ibuprofen from the moment on that he could speak and identify the pain. His legs/knees will hurt and he will wake up and cry and just go ballistic. I think the first time he was able to make it clear to me it was growing pains was at around 2 years old. Tried everything we could but only Ibuprofen made him stop bawling and go back to sleep and it’s the same these days 2 years later. He will often recognize the kind of pain before we go to bed and will request Ibuprofen. If I try to make make him sleep without it and it works he will wake up 2 hrs later screaming bloody murder until I give him some – 100% of the time so I know he’s not even faking it. I had bad growing pains as a child and remember those nights and my mom never gave me any pain relief and I remember crying desperately and asking her to make it stop. She said the pediatrician never once told her to use pain meds for growing pains. I want it different for my son and not have him have to go through hours of pain.

EDIT: Wow, people are so fast in assuming the worst from people on here… I take my kid to the doctor regularly – like every parent should. The pains are confirmed to be growing pains by our pediatrician. I am of course giving him Ibuprofen for kids – in kids doses. Are you guys even aware that Ibuprofen for babies exists? The Ibuprofen is what our doctor (and other doctors we have seen) recommends. You guys act like I stuff my kid with adult doses of Ibuprofen on a regular basis – which is not the case. I’m not dumb, I’m doing what the doctor tells me to do. My niece has had the same growing pains throughout hef childhood and always got Ibuprofen as well. I had to suffer through these pains without any meds and I am glad my kid doesn’t have to. How tf am I supposed to get my boy addicted to Ibuprofen if he gets one does on like 6 nights a year for growing pains? He gets Ibuprofen for a fever – like our doctor recommends – and it says in the description that they can have it every 6 hrs for fever and pain. He has had a broken foot and guess what a different doctor from a specialized kids clinic gave us – Ibuprofen. I’m not gonna withhold recommended pain meds from my kid and make him suffer on purpose especially because I know how it feels. Oh and he never keeps on asking for it like a druggie, after events like those. He actually doesn’t like taking it very much BUT he knows his own body and knows when it’s growing pains and he needs it. Gee some people…


who says they don’t? Truth is they do experience growing pains, but seeing as they are infants, they usually express this through crying, being fussy, sleeping poorly, etc. and most adults overlook this because well.. infants do that a lot anyways.

There’s a documentary on Netflix called “Babies” where someone explains this. She did a case study where she would measure babies every day and ask the parents for any notable behaviors or what they did that day.

She came to understand that babies grow one to two* centimeters in one day, not over time. The parents would report that the babies were particularly fussy or throwing tantrums on those days, so they actually do react. We just don’t always understand why since they can’t talk yet.

Edit: *previously said several centimeters but it’s not quite that extreme. [Here’s a link]( to the study if anyone is interested.

Babies grow in spurts, sometimes growing multiple centimeters in a day! Then they have periods of stasis (no significant growth). In these growing periods they are VERY fussy.

EDIT: “Dr. Lampl measured thirty babies daily and found that babies grew between 0.5 and 1.65cm in one day, between two to twenty-eight days of no growth. These growth spurts changed their sleeping patterns, inciting tantrums as well as insatiable hunger. ” [](

Growing pains aren’t actually a proven thing, as others have mentioned.

But I would like to add that babies have a completely different pain sensation that you are probably familiar with. Babies nerves are super juvenile, and underdeveloped for the most part. A lot of their nerves don’t even have myelin sheaths yet (one of the reasons they can’t walk until they are 1-2). So it’s possible that babies don’t sense the “growing pains”, if they exist.


I grew 8 inches in less than a year and have never experienced growing pains, I always assumed they weren’t actually a thing

They say growing pains are present in kids and adolescents, but does anybody else still get the same pains in their shins despite being an adult? I get them way less frequently, but the pain is such a distinct feeling that I know it’s the same pain as “growing pains” I’ve had when younger (yes I know they’re not definitively linked to growing, I don’t think I’m getting any taller at this point lol). They never really went away, just happen way less frequently

This might be helpful. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. Im my patient group, a lot of us had what doctors called “growing pains” but were actually misdiagnosed symptoms of juvenile arthritis, that after a while turned into full blown Ankylosing Spondylitis. So if your kid is complaining, take it seriously, the earlier the diagnosis the better.