02 November 2010

The Wonder Weeks - the answer you've been looking for

After reading all the books, you think you know what to do when things don't go as you expected. The reality is that most books are only guides rather than instruction manuals. There are times when you've tried everything but nothing seems to be working. You've fed the baby, burped the baby, rocked and patted, walked and even contemplated taking the baby for a drive. Still your baby won't settle. You're tired and frustrated and the sound of your crying baby can take you close to the edge. The mistake here is that we often forget what our new baby is going through herself. Babies go through such massive changes that can be both scary, confusing and challenging for them.

When Layla was 8 weeks old, my parents were overseas and nothing was working. Layla was waking to feed every 2 hours through the night, night after night. I was emotional and exhausted. In my desperation, I turned to Google. My search delivered a book which has changed my life and outlook on my child's development and behaviour. What I learned was that Layla was dealing with a mental leap that was challengin her, hence the change in her behaviour.

The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt, Ph.D. and Frans Plooij, Ph.D. scientifically predicts fussy periods based on your baby's mental development as they face the 8 (now 10!) predictable leaps.

The blurb from the website says:
Ever wondered why your baby drives you crazy during certain times? And 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’s something wrong with your parenting skills? The Wonder Weeks explains this all, based upon decades of scientific research.

There is a new edition of the book out now (from end of October 2010) that includes 2 additional leaps taking it from 8 to 10.

The book is available here in Australia but I found it to be a bit pricey and hence cheaper to order from overseas. Check out http://www.booko.com.au/ for the best price. The book explains each leap as well as offering parents signs to look out for and activities to help your baby as they face each challenging period.

Their website http://www.thewonderweeks.com/ features a newsletter email alert subscription where you are sent an email just prior to your baby reaching the next mental leap so that you're prepared for an unsettled period. There is also an iPhone app available from the website.

When all else fails, I turn to this book. It gives me peace of mind when I feel that things are starting to unravel. It's just wonderful!

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