Understanding The Wonder Weeks
Our babies go through so much in such a short period of time. Check out what goes on during each developmental leap to better understand The Wonder Weeks.
Photo Credit: The Wonder Weeks
The Wonder Weeks
As Baby grows and is able to do more, there’s a lot going on in their brain. The Wonder Weeks are those key moments when huge leaps are happening. Knowing when to expect a leap and what is going on with Baby’s cognitive development will better equip you to help Baby through all the changes going on around them. In addition, having this knowledge will help you as a parent cope when Baby seems extra clingy or fussy. As you help Baby through each leap by playing appropriate games to help them hone their new skills, the sooner Baby will master each of the leaps and be less fussy. Ultimately, Baby needs the proper stimulation to help them feel at ease and know how best to work with their new skills.
It’s important to note, though, that each wonder week is based on your due date, not Baby’s actual birth date. No matter on much time they spend in the womb, their brains still develop at the same pace.
Click through to find out what is involved with each leap, and make sure to check out The Wonder Weeks for more information on how to help baby cope with each leap. This book has been like magic for me as I help my new baby girl through each of her leaps!
Wonder Week 5
Baby is all of a sudden aware of all the sensations around AND IN him/her. This can be scary and Baby may need more attention from you around week 4 or 5 as he/she begins to PERCEIVE all the sensations. Signs that Baby is about to make this leap are extra fussiness and a need to be close to you as he/she is unsure of their surrounding world. This may also upset momma as this may be the first time you struggle to soothe your little one and worry that something more serious is wrong.
Wonder Week 8
This is the time when Baby begins to understand patterns around him and his body. With this pattern sense, though, comes a muddle in Baby’s brain. The world is very confusing and a lot of crying will ensue, and sometimes they may even lose their appetite as they just crave the comfort of Mom. Other key components of this leap is that Baby begins to realize they have control over their limbs and will begin swatting at toys, though with a jerky manner.
Wonder Week 12
During this leap, those jerky movements slow down and Baby begins moving more smoothly, which is a correlation to the new understandings going on of the world around him/her. Not only does he move more smoothly, but it is the first time he perceives smoothing transitions like sounds going from low to high, or an arm going form left to right. It’s an eye-opening experience for Baby, literally, and will seem scary at first, hence all the crying and clinginess that will most likely occur.
Wonder Week 19
Around 19 weeks, Baby will begin to master reaching for and grabbing things instead of needing so much concentration and energy to grasp at items, and can more smoothly transition from one action to another. This is when baby babbles may turn into a familiar “momma” or “dada,” and attempts to roll over will occur. There is a lot of neurological development going on with Baby, as he/she starts to understand that the world around him/her consists of things that exist beyond the right now. You may notice this leap begin to happen when Baby cries more easily and more often, and will of course want your attention and cuddles to sooth him/her.
Wonder Week 26
Baby will become more mobile during this leap. And if he/she was already crawling, this movement will become even quicker as Baby can now perceive distances from one thing to another, though this distance is perceived as being monumental and may cause frustration and can even be frightening. As a result, this leap takes longer for Baby to settle and you many find your sweet baby more fussy for as long as four weeks.
Wonder Week 37
During this leap, Baby starts to understand relationships between objects, and with this comes language skill development. Again, all of these changes will seem confusing for Baby as he/she tries to figure it all out. Their brain tries so hard to understand how several objects may be the same or different, and as a result you may find Baby creating more messes, whether in play or in eating. It’s also coupled with Baby beginning to decipher more of your words. This leap can also last an average of four weeks.
Wonder Week 46
Around 46 weeks, Baby begins to understand sequencing and will begin to discern that he/she needs to do things in a certain order to achieve a bigger goal. A heightened sense of awareness is what happens for Baby. As Baby begins to master these new skills, a fussy period will occur.
Wonder Week 55
This leap is all about your now toddler realizing that the world is more than just a set of sequences to achieve a goal, but rather an abstract way of looking at “programs” where you can achieve the same goal in a variety of ways. It’s really quite mind blowing for your budding toddler as they begin to want to try things out for themselves as they discover all the different “programs” they can do to attain their goals, which can be very frustrating for both the toddler and the parents. This leap can cause toddlers, on average, to go through a four or five week fussy period.
Wonder Week 64
Around week 64, your toddler will start to understand different principles.
They deal with the programs of the last leap more smoothly and naturally. Your toddler knows there are several ways to reach the goal of the program. It’s time to lay down some ground rules as he/she will now start to consciously try to get their way. You’ll also see them experimenting with emotions and different emotional strategies.
Photo Credit: Morguefile
Wonder Week 75
The leap that occurs around week 75 is when your toddler starts to see the world within a set of systems. They no longer apply principles as rigid as before. You toddler understands they can choose the way they want to be–nice, careful, patient, or sometimes the opposite. You toddler also now understand the system of of “me” and “my.” After this leap, your child has completed the first major stage in life: the sensorimotor period.
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