So we are hitting the end of Leap 8 (The world of programs / our last ever baby leap) and the little madam has reverted to being a devil-child who cannot fall asleep on her own and cannot stay asleep for more than an hour without waking up screaming. So I’m back to feeding, rocking, patting her back & bouncing her to sleep, several times a night. My back aches, my shoulders ache, my heart aches because I just cannot help her.
Exhaustion is such an understatement. The sleep deprivation is just awful, I can’t think straight – everything just seems so blurry.
But at least there is light at the end of this tunnel. This leap is very nearly over and (fingers crossed), our lovely little lady who sleeps all the way through the night will return with some new mad skills to show off like her waving and clapping. Just one more night to get through…
Alyssia now knows that waving means “hello and goodbye” however every time I pick her up, she starts to wave thinking she’s going somewhere.. Alyssia also knows that putting your coat and shoes on means that you are going outside – whenever I say the word “shoes” She gives me a massive cheesy grin.. She knows where her two teeth are, and she points to her head when you ask her where her head is. She has recently learnt to open and close drawers repeatedly and is absolutely fascinated by the water that goes down the plug after a bath.. oh I do love her!!
For those who don’t know about the amazing Wonder Weeks, there are 10 developmental ‘leaps’ that all babies go through in the first 20 months of their lives. Some clever researchers found that the development stages that all babies go through could be predicted almost to the day, so they charted these periods and called them The Wonder Weeks.
Through previous mental leaps, I have noticed that the chart on the app is pretty much dead accurate. Like scary accurate….
Now, I’ll be completely honest with you – there’s not really much that’s wonderful about these Wonder Weeks. Some babies (especially mine) become totally different little creatures during these awful periods, and can actually be really hard to cope with. Parenting is hard – but even more so at times like this.
During each Wonder Week leap, babies’ tiny little brains go through an intense period of learning and change; new connections are formed and a greater understanding of the world they’re living in is reached. Understandably, this can be hard for them to deal with.
The first signs that a leap is approaching are the three C’s – crying, crankiness and clinginess. This, plus sleep disturbances (oh yeah!), changes in eating habits and changes in behaviour, can leave parents thinking that they’ve somehow brought the wrong baby home from the park.
Alyssia has been super clingy & whiney, at first I thought it was separation anxiety – she cries as soon as I leave the room. She’s been feeding alot more and has been sleeping more in the day meaning there seems to be a massive protest at bedtimes. But trust me, knowing when the Wonder Weeks will occur can be a lifesaver for a sleep deprived parent.
I absolutely love the Wonder Weeks app, it’s so helpful & although it can’t do anything to change my baby’s behaviour, it can warn me when things are going to start changing etc and also provides advice on how to help them (and yourselves) get through this awful time.
Wonder weeks makes me think to myself “she’s not giving me a rough time, she’s having a rough time and she needs me” although that thought doesn’t always help at 4oclock in the morning when you’ve been up every hour of the damn night.
But hey, it does get better.. right?
Do you track your baby’s Wonder Weeks & do you find it helps you as a parent?
Thanks for reading,
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