Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Understanding Your Baby: The Wonder Weeks

As a first-time mum, I am not afraid to admit that I don't really know what I am doing. The first 6 weeks were hard; we were feeding on demand and sleeping on demand and we didn't really know what JD wanted. 

There were many times we weren't sure what we were doing, or why JD was upset - was he tired? Hadn't he fed enough? Did he have tummy ache? - we were clueless. 

I am a very 'theory-based' person. I like to know what I should be doing, when and why. That's not to say I can't be spontaneous or impulsive (I am - often!), but I like to know what I am doing. 

I happened upon a fantastic theory of baby development called The Wonder Weeks. The Wonder Weeks are the product of Dr Plooij's work on the intercultural study of infantile regression periods (ISIRP). His work has helped to establish what he calls 'Wonder Weeks' in which babies take 'leaps' in development. He theorises that these 'leaps' can be predicted and plotted out by age, based on your baby's due date. 
All babies go through theses 'leaps' and they are vital in allowing babies to develop new skills and understandings of the world around them.
I thought that this sounded fantastic and I continued to download the app from iTunes to my phone and iPad. The app allows you to add your children by due date and it then calculates when your different leaps will occur (there is a 7 day tolerance).  One it has calculated this, it plots them on a calendar for you:

You can see that JD is in the middle of his 4th leap. This leap is titled 'Events' and by the end of it, JD will begin to be able to perceive or perform a short, familiar series of smooth transitions, patterns, or sensations.
What's great about the app is that it gives you a summary page that tells you what to expect roughly. It then details the new abilities they will learn, signs that show he is mastering these abilities and ways you can help or aid them. You can see here that JD has lots to gain from this leap:

I have found the discovery of Dr Plooij's Wonder Weeks fascinating and it has helped me understand why JD might be more fussy or clingy (common traits whilst babies are in a leap). The book is also a great read.
You can find out more about the Wonder Weeks on their website, here.
Did you already know about Wonder Weeks? What are your thoughts?


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