Wonder WeeksPosted: February 19, 2009
There have been at least two really tough periods that we have gone through with Cooper. The first was between 5-9 weeks old. The Second was between 15-19 weeks old. During these time periods he was very fussy, needed extra rocking and holding, his sleep was poor, and he seemed to have strange eating patterns (either requiring more feedings or eating less than normal). During the peak of these time periods, particularly week 18, he basically would not let me put him down. I was besides myself wondering what was wrong with him. I know he was already battling some other problems such as a cold and colic during some of these time frames, but there seemed to be something else going on.
Then I stumbled across a book called The Wonder Weeks. This book claims that infants go through 8 developmental leaps between birth and 14 months old. These developmental leaps are marked by a cognitive change or developmental milestone such as rolling over or walking. During the time that a baby is getting ready to acquire a new skill or develop more cognitive awareness, the author claims, babies exhibit the 3 Cs- crying, cranky, and clingy. My Cooper really followed these developmental leaps to a T!
During wonder week 8 a baby learns how to discover patterns, details, and may even discover his own hands and feet. Cooper had discovered his hands at this time, constantly staring at them. He also started to become more interested in his activity mat, staring at the dangling animals above his head. This was also the time when Cooper started to make his “ohh” sounds and stick out his tongue (to copy us). But during this time frame, Cooper was very fussy and required a lot of holding, just like the book had mentioned.
Wonder week 19 was the worst by far. The chart in the book shows that this developmental phase can last from week 15 to week 20. Cooper was cranky, clingy, and crying (almost non-stop) during the peak of this developmental leap. However, once those weeks were over, Cooper’s cognitive development and skills have definitely change. Cooper can now roll onto his side. He holds objects in his hands better and can even pass an object from one hand into the other. He also responds to his name now and will turn to look for whom ever is calling him. He grabs both feet and pulls them close to his mouth as well. He is more interested in the world around him and I find that I have to nurse him in the quite and away from lots of distractions now because he would much rather watch TV, look at daddy, or look at the light than nurse.
It is amazing how Cooper’s fussy weeks really lined up with the ones mentioned in this book. The next developmental leap is coming up- week 26. This developmental leap can last from week 23 til week 26. Cooper is 21 weeks old. That means we are getting ready to go on a bumpy ride again. I just need to remember to be patient with him and give him lots of love. I am sure that all these new experiences are extremely difficult for babies to go through at times. At least I now have a reason for the fussiness and I don’t have to sit there and “wonder” why.