It feels like babies and toddlers are constantly going through some sort of growth spurt, and honestly, it's because they are. These little ones have a lot of growing to do, and only a few short years to do it. But as your child grows into an older toddler, you might start to notice some discomfort in your child that you never noticed before. But to save yourself some anxiety, it helps to know the signs of growing pains so you can get your child (and yourself) some comfort.
"Growing pains are aches and pains in the legs that are not caused by any known injury or any other process," Dr. Jaime Friedman, M.D., pediatrician at Children’s Primary Care Medical Group 4S Ranch, explains to Romper. Although common, there's actually no science behind them. "While they are called growing pains, there isn’t evidence at this time that bone growth causes the pain," Friedman says.
Still, any parent can tell you that growing pains definitely seem like they happen. These aches and pains may be frustrating for a child, but they should never be serious. "When the child begins to show signs of swollen joints, redness, excessive pain, limping, weight loss, rashes, and any unusual behaviors, it may be something more serious than growing pains, and parents should consult a doctor," Dr. Rommel Morales, M.D., a pediatrician at Community Health of South Florida, Inc., tells Romper.
Your child will likely feel some, if not all, of the symptoms listed below, but it's pretty easy to relieve the pain. A gentle massage, a warm bath, or a heating pad on the area may be enough to make things better.