What are the wonder weeks?

I was first introduced to Wonder Weeks with my fourth child. I was struggling with Emma and a friend who had a child the same age suggested I read more about the Wonder Weeks. When your child is crying for no apparent reason, you will look for advice and guidance anywhere but the Wonder Weeks make sense.

So what are they?

The Wonder Weeks was written by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij, two Dutch pediatricians who dedicated 35 years to studying interactions between mothers and babies. They noted, in particular, the times moms reported that their babies were being difficult or had behavioural changes. They found that each of these challenging periods were usually accompanied by clinginess, crankiness and crying.

If you talk to your mom friends who have babies, chances are you will find that everyone is struggling or has struggled around the same time. Their babies behaviour has suddenly changed, they are suddenly clingier or not sleeping through anymore and nothing in your routine has changed. There is a good chance they are in a Wonder Week.

Each Wonder Week (or Mental Leap) signals something in your baby’s development. The first mental leap, which happens around 5 weeks is when your baby’s perception of their senses start changing, so they start getting bombarded with new sensations which will make them a little crankier.

Below is an overview of the when the Wonder Weeks are likely to happen.

Wonder Week 5 – The World of Changing Sensations (Leap 1)

Wonder Week 8 – The World of Patterns (Leap 2)

Wonder Week 12 – The World of Smooth Transitions (Leap 3)

Wonder Week 19 – The World of Events (Leap 4)

Wonder Week 26 – The World of Relationships (Leap 5)

Wonder Week 37 – The World of Categories (Leap 6)

Wonder Week 46 – The World of Sequences (Leap 7)

Wonder Week 55 – The World of Programs (Leap 8)

Wonder Week 64 – The World of Principles (Leap 9)

Wonder Week 75 – The World of Systems (Leap 10)

It is important to note though that your child may not experience these changes exactly in each week, they could happen a little before or a little after. So be aware of when each week is and what the leap is so you know what to look out for.

For more information about the Wonder Weeks you can purchase their book or visit their website https://www.thewonderweeks.com

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