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It is a commonplace of my friends and relatives to remark that a young child (younger than 3 years) has had a recent "growth spurt". The underlying assumption is that young children do not grow taller continuously and steadily, but have periods of rapid growth between periods of slow growth. But is that assumption true? I'm sceptical; I'm inclined to believe that growth is steady, and the idea of growth spurts is a flaw of perception.

So, what research have I done so far on this question? I've seen the height-age charts for children, and they are smooth, so there are no growth spurts synchronised across all children. But that smooth averaged growth could result from the average of many non smooth growth rates. So the question is about when considering a single child. A web search about children's growth spurts shows numerous parenting web-sites that assume that growth-spurts happen, without asking whether growth spurts actually happen. I found an old press release from Emory University about some research supporting the idea, but no better information.

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    $\begingroup$ What research have you done to answer this yourself? The Biology.SE community has agreed that questions that show little or no prior research effort are off-topic on this site unless you have shown your attempt at an answer. Please edit your question and tell us where you've looked for answers, what you do know about the topic, and where exactly you still have questions. Unresearched questions may be subject to down-voting and closure. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Jan 22 '17 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ @MattDMo The community might have so agreed, but the Help Center information about what is on topic does not say so. The Help Center does say that doing research is part of asking a good question. $\endgroup$ – Raedwald Jan 23 '17 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ @MattDMo I didn't find any Bilogy Meta posts that support your assertion that the the "community has agreed that questions that show little or not prior research effort are off topic". And in fact I did mention some research, of sorts: the content of height-charts for children. I have now amended my question with the, near useless, results of a Web search. $\endgroup$ – Raedwald Jan 23 '17 at 13:37
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    $\begingroup$ I have to agree with @MattDMo - there needs to be some sort of research on the question being asked or else you get (1) exceedingly vague questions that are unanswerable or (2) questions that are so basic that they are easily answered by looking at a Wikipedia page or some other basic website. If the person asking the question wants someone in the community to take time to write a thoughtful answer, I think we should expect the question asker to do the same. $\endgroup$ – Vance L Albaugh Jan 23 '17 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Raedwald you found right in the help center where it says you need to research your question beforehand and tell us what you know, so I don't understand why you're making such a big deal out of this. You've been part of the SO/SE system long enough that you should know that you need to try and help yourself before seeking the help of others. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Jan 23 '17 at 17:02
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Growth is neither even nor constant, It can vary quite a bit from month to month as hormone levels change, the growth curves you are seeing are a rough average.

You are having a hard time finding anything because it one of those pieces of knowledge that is so old people only rarely research it directly focusing more on deviations from it and you will likely only find good reference to it in textbooks. For a layman this means searches based on the terms you think you should use never find what you want, something as simple as adding the word "textbook" can make a huge difference. Google scholar will also help.

http://adc.bmj.com/content/51/3/170.short

https://books.google.com/books?id=YA-LdtyHJ9QC&pg=PA226&dq=evolution+of+the+growth+spurt&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjkl4zCztjRAhVB74MKHRiuB7kQ6AEIHzAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

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