The Wonder Weeks: Why I Live By Them

Ever heard of the book “The Wonder Weeks”? It is a total game changer in mommy land.  I pretty much live by the timing of it!  I have the app for it on my phone and an alert that let’s me know “It’s time, beloved. Brace yourself”.

The Wonder Weeks is not a game or a mirage.  I tell all of my girlfriends with babies about it.  I encourage them to buy the book and the app.  It’s that serious.

The author, Dr. Frans X. Plooji, isn’t trying to sell you lies and deceit on how to make your baby behave a certain way by way of parenting advice.  Naa.  Dr. Plooji is talking baby development, what some of the signs, symptoms and abilities are, and how we can better assist them during these times.

It’s the real deal, fam.

What’s a Wonder Week?

Scenario: Your baby is acting like a baby:  clingy, cranky and crazy, I mean crying.  Though this can happen when they are teething (trust me: you know when they are teething) or any other physical growth spurt, it’s more likely they are going through a fussy phase.  According to the book, these are all signs that your baby is going through a mental development.

So a wonder week basically identifies times when a baby is making a mental development in their lives.  There are 10 wonder weeks spanning 20 months (broken down by weeks at a time).  They are calculated based on your baby’s approximate due date vs. when they were actually born.

I like that it encourages parents to calculate mental developments based on due date vs. delivery date.  A baby born prematurely at 35 weeks will not have the same abilities as a baby born at 41 weeks if they were born on the same day.  Yes, the 35 week old has entered the world, but the baby still has some developing to do in order to get to where the 41 week old is.  It’s science, fam.

Wonder weeks can last for up to 4-5 weeks at a time, so when your nights seem long and your days are filled with the three c’s, you can remain semi-sane in knowing what is going on and why it’s happening.

What is a Mental Development?

All this talk about “mental development”, but what exactly is it?

A mental development is when the baby is able to perceive things he or she wasn’t able to perceive before.  It’s like the wool has been taken from over their eyes.  They can see clearly now because the rain – it’s gone.  Simply put: they are woke.

How I Use Wonder Weeks

Personally, I own both the book and app.  I input her due date in the app and the app let’s me know what leap is coming up based on that information.  I read all the information given about the upcoming leap including abilities the baby will have afterward, the signs the leap is coming up, and what exactly they are learning.

And it’s not hard to tell whether the app is right – I see the signs.  She loves to cling to me during those times.  I’m gentle with her because I know what’s happening in that brain of hers.

The app only gives you a overall analysis.  If you to know the science behind what’s going on and a more in depth look, you have to get the book.  The book includes commentaries from parents who have gone through different leaps, giving you an oh, I’m not so crazy because I feel this way perspective.  I also like the fact it gives you more examples on how to practice the acquired skills with your baby.

What Tools We Use

It’s not about what you have, it’s about how you use it.

Since we don’t have a lot of toys around here, I like to read about the upcoming leaps to see what she will be capable of doing by the end of them.  This way, I know the skills she will possess and it helps me to buy toys with intention that serve multiple functions.

For example, we bought her stacking cups.  Stacking cups can be used for a lot of different applications – stacking, nesting, mimicking how to drink (imaginative play), learning how to take turns, trunk control and development – the list goes on and on.

So maybe at three months all she could do was reach for the cup, but now, at 11 months, she can stack them, shuffle them, nest them, pretend drink with them, scooping – you name it.  And eventually she will learn how to do more applications to use with them.

By purchasing a “universal toy” I am able to introduce it to her in new ways, constantly building on the knowledge and skills she has before to show her something new.  It saves me so much money, but also helps me help her.

The best tool by far?  Us being present.  We constantly talk to her, sing to her, dance with her, and get her to help us out around the house.  We are the most important tools for her development right now.

Babies are Different

What should be understood is every child develops differently and shows interests in different things.  So while your child may go through a mental development and possesses the ability to do a certain skill, it doesn’t mean they will.  Maybe they aren’t interested in walking yet, or maybe they just don’t want to stack blocks.  It’s boils down to their interests so you have to watch them and provide them with the tools to hone their interests.

The Wonder Weeks stresses this and wants parents to understand it is ok for their baby to develop in their own way.  Understanding the development and being there to help are the major keys to a healthy, happy baby!

With that being said, I highly suggest looking into Wonder Weeks.  I believe the more you know about what’s going on with the baby, the better you can handle your emotions and adjust to your baby’s needs and wants.

You can learn more about Wonder Weeks here.

Do you use Wonder Weeks?  What are your thoughts?