*This is NOT a sponsored post.
Any mama who has ever walked into a book store knows that there one million and one books floating around about babies, toddlers, pregnancy, sleep, breastfeeding and so much more. Some people think that too much reading can be a bad thing, and I suppose that is the case sometimes. However, just a little bit of research and reading can sometimes comfort a frazzled and exhausted new mother.
One day your baby is playing wonderfully on the floor, by herself with all of her furry friends and adorable toys. You have a wonderful day that includes successful naps, healthy meals and more kisses and cuddles than imaginable. She sleeps great at night and she wakes up with a smile. This mama thing is easy, right?
The next day your child is clinging to your legs, crying non-freaking-stop and throwing her food left and right at you because she just doesn't want to eat today. She won't play with her toys for longer than five minutes and all she wants is for you to hold her, nurse her, rock her and entertain her. You almost feel helpless because you just don't know what is wrong.
Now, obviously there can be a ton of reasons for the above scenario that I've just played out. Babies have bad days just like us adults. The problem is that they can't tell us what is wrong. They can't explain that they are hungry or tired or that they have an ear ache. They can't tell us that their belly is gassy or that their gums feel like little volcanoes are exploding.
They just simply can't tell us.
I have been in the above scenarios many times. For weeks my child will be happy, play well independently and sleep great. Then for a few weeks she's super clingy, wakes more often and doesn't want to play too much (unless it is outside). I eventually started looking for answers and looking into a term I noticed that was thrown around a bit in parenting groups,
In a nutshell, The Wonder Weeks are a set of mental leaps that your child will make in the first 20ish months of their life. Each leap has a certain developmental milestone such as learning rules, learning sequences or even just learning relationships that familiarize them with understanding distance.
You know, that they toy is right there and that they can get to it eventually.
The Wonder Weeks is backed by research and according to even my doctor who had never heard of it before my mentioning of it
"can easily explain why we sometimes don't know what is wrong with our baby and why they have bad days."
My doctor has since ordered the book after finding her Internet search intriguing.
So why do I believe in it?
For the last several months when we have a rough set of days or weeks, I always turned to my computer or Wonder Weeks app to check and see if my daughter was in a leap and sure enough she was. Each leap has symptoms that can occur (which are similar symptoms for most leaps) and she pretty much always matched them to the tee. I always rule out teething, sickness and so on. Of course, often times she is teething as well so that adds fuel to the fire. I have even noticed her mood changing towards the end of the leap, showing me that she had overcome the crankies.
It’s not your imagination– all babies go through a difficult period around the same age. Research has shown that babies make 10 major, predictable, age-linked changes – or leaps – during their first 20 months of their lives. During this time, they will learn more than in any other time. With each leap comes a drastic change in your baby’s mental development, which affects not only his mood, but also his health, intelligence, sleeping patterns and the “three C’s” (crying, clinging and crankiness).
Do I think it's a Bible for parenting?
No, I don't think it's a tell all for all babies out there. I don't think that every baby even reacts to a leap; many likely can handle a leap without totally changing (or going ape shit crazy). Some may only have a few rough days and some, like my child, may be different throughout the majority of the leap (usually a good month). There's certainly a chance that anything can be wrong with your child or that they are just having an off day. But if all seems well in your child's health, but their mood, sleep, play and eating habits have changed for a few days or more, consider The Wonder Weeks.
To find out more about
You can also purchase a very helpful app for your phone or iPad that will show you the leaps your child is in, the purpose of the leap and the symptoms commonly associated with it.
Have you ever heard of The Wonder Weeks?
Thanks for reading, Sasha