It all started about a week and a half ago. My little angel that was eating well, sleeping through the night, and being a social butterfly woke up one day and decided she didn't want to eat anymore, that she wanted to wake up 5 times per night, be shy, irritable, fussy, clingy, have separation anxiety and much more. What happened to my perfect little princess? Where had she gone and why was this new crazy baby here to take her place? At first I thought it must just be teething again. But, when it continued for over a week, I asked my facebook friends that are also parents if they had any ideas or suggestions. One of them mentioned that she may be experiencing a "Wonder Week". I instantly googled it and found this:
"Ever wondered why your baby drives you crazy during certain times? Or, that no matter what you do, you can’t seem to make him happy or comfort him? Or, that he doesn’t eat well; doesn’t sleep well?
Have you ever thought – based on your child’s erratic behavior – that there is something wrong with your parenting skills?
Most probably you can answer a couple of these questions with resounding ‘YES!’ We know this because decades of scientific research have shown that all babies go through the same fussy phases at the same time. Frans Plooij, Ph.D., and author of the worldwide bestseller The Wonder Weeks spent almost 40 years exploring thereason and timing of these fussy phases all babies go through during their first years.
Here’s the good news! You, dear parent, are doing nothing wrong, and there is nothing wrong with your baby. On the contrary: the fussy phases ARE good news! These fussy phases signal great and drastic changes your baby’s mental development. During these times, his brain is giving him new possibilities. So many possibilities, in fact, that the world around him seems totally different and new. No wonder he is fussy! He needs to get grip on this ‘new world’ suddenly in front of him. As a result, he acts out and becomes more Clingy, Cranky and Cries more.
During a leap it is possible your baby:
- Eats less
- Sleeps less or wakes up a lot of the times
- Seems to go back in his development in stead of forth
- Cries more
- Is cranky
- Clings to you all the time
- Is ill more often
- Is not satisfied, no matter what you do.
The Wonder Weeks gives you a “heads up” as to when these periods are expected and explains to you what is going on in the head of your child. Forewarned is forearmed! By knowing what is changing in the mental development of your child, you can help him go through these difficult phases and it will help you as you know why he is not the easiest baby in the world right now. It’s no wonder that new parents everywhere who have read the book calls it a “sanity savior.” "
That website just described EXACTLY how my baby has been acting! Was this really the answer???? I googled some more (which I don't usually let myself do, I google myself into a frenzy in most cases and I have a serious anxiety problem). Here is more on what I found about the week that my baby is in (week 37 from her due date) and why she is acting this way:
"Wonder Week 37 is known as “the world of categories”. Your child is now able to understand that particular things, animals, objects, sensations, and people belong together. The book gives this example, “a banana looks, feels, and tastes different than spinach, but they are both food.” Your baby will also be learning more about his emotions and other people. Her language skills continue to develop. She may not be talking yet, but she understand a lot more of what you say to her. She might also be trying to master a new skill. All these changes can be overwhelming for a baby and cause them to be fussy. The fussy period can begin around 34 week, but could begin around 32 weeks and last until 37 weeks. This fussy period usually lasts 4 weeks, but it could last anywhere from 3-6 weeks.
Signs to be on the look out for…
- cling to your cloths and hold on tight to you
- demand more attention
- have nightmares
- act unusually sweet
- refuse to have diaper changed
- seem more babyish
- lose appetite
- cries more often/ cranky
- sleeps poorly
- babbles less
- less lively
- sometimes sits quietly, looks like he is daydreaming
- sucks thumb or does so more often than before
- reaches for a cuddly toy
New skills your baby is acquiring… (may do some, but not all)
- Classify world into groups (Understand the category horses despite what they look like: spotted horses, brown horses, white horses)
- begin to under stand what makes something…big, small, heavy, light, soft, sticky, happy, mean, etc.
- understands names of animals or objects. When you ask, “where’s ______?” she will look for it.
- shows that she thinks something is funny by making a special sound or movement
- may be able to repeat words after you
- imitate and mimic what you do
- relates more to other people with sounds and gestures
- recognizes people, even in a unrelated situation
- makes silly faces at his mirror image and might laugh
- might become jealous if mom or dad are giving attention to another child
- may start crying when another baby or child cries
- might exaggerate his mood to let everyone else know how he is feeling
- may ask you to play with him- get your attention to do so
What you can do to help…
- If your baby is interested in shapes, give her blocks that come in different shapes and sizes (Like These)
- Take your baby around the house and allow her to touch and hold different house hold objects. Tell her what it is. “This is a small frame, but this is a big frame)
- Give them different fabrics to touch (wool, silk, etc.) of books that have fabric that you can touch (Like This)
- let your baby demolish things such as knocking down a stack of magazines of blocks. Pull apart a connected link like this. You can also let him take rings off a toy like this
- Let your baby stack a ring toy or stack and pull apart cups or boxes (like this)
- Teach your baby that some things are fragile and to be gentle with them
- Give your baby similar object that are of different weights so she can learn the difference between heavy and light
- Allow your baby to crawl on, through, on top of, next to objects. This will help you baby learn about relationships in space. A tunnel toy can be fun for this activity (like this)
- Take your baby outside for a walk, to play in the grass, or play in a park. The outside is a great place for baby to discover things.
More games to play…
- play with bells and switches (door bells, elevator buttons, light switches, ped. crossing button). Explain to him what these various bells and switches will cause
- dress your baby in front of a mirror so he can watch
- name objects in books, home, and outside (etc)
- say, “Give me ______” and have your child hand you the object you as asking for.
- Play “pat a cake”
- chase your baby as she crawls or even walks about
- hide and seek
- anything that opens and closes (doors, drawers)
- pans and lids
- alarm clocks
- magazines/ newspapers to tear
- plastic plates, cups, etc.
- large cardboard box
- contains of all sizes and shapes
- balls of all sizes
- picture books
- baby pool
- toy cars
After the leap…
Between week 40-45 your baby should be out of the fussy phase. This can last 1-3 weeks. They should be cheerful and happy. Babys will show more interest in different object and a greater awareness of their environment. They may also be more independent and do not require as much help from you."
I PRAY TO GOD EVERY NIGHT that this will not last 4-6 weeks as it is saying that it does for some! I hope and pray that this is over TONIGHT!
Have any of you read "The Wonder Weeks"? What did you think about it? Or if you didn't, did your baby seem to go through these same changes? How long did it last?