THE MAMA FILES: Wonder Week? Kill me now.

THE MAMA FILES: Wonder Week? Kill me now.
Reality Chick | The Mama Files

Most new parents will have told another new parent about something weird their child is doing only to be told, “Hmm, that behaviour sounds like Wonder Week 2. Have you heard of the Wonder Weeks? You really should check out the book / app / website etc’. I downloaded the app myself, to learn it’s the brainchild of Amsterdam doctor Dr Frans Plooij, who’d once studied infant development in free-living chimpanzees, and devised the Wonder Weeks as a way to schedule babies’ developmental milestones.

It sounds all jolly and fun and celebratory doesn’t it? The Wonder Weeks. Weeks of wonder, in which new amazing things can happen to your child. And that is so true. After all, who wouldn’t want to celebrate their baby’s new ability to roll over, crawl, babble ‘Mama’ or ‘Dadda’, be able to sit up on their own etc etc. The Wonder Weeks are pretty special as you watch your kid master amazing new abilities and often, seemingly overnight.

However, the Wonder Weeks are also a special kind of hell with the power to make any sleep-deprived parent wonder why they haven’t brained themselves on the cot by the time the week (or month of changes) is over.

Charlie is, as you may have guessed, smack back in the middle of one of these Weeks. I always know (even though the Wonder Week app alerts me when he is entering/exiting such weeks, much like the apps that warn you your period is imminent). The reason I always know is because he goes from being a normal baby that naps and sleeps to a crazy, squealing, wakeful, extra whingey, frustrating but often also quite hilarious baby from hell. He’s laughing and being super cute despite all the whinging and sleeplessness but the Weeks still take their toll.

Take last night. I got up about 50 times to sort him out. By that I mean, change his nappy (4 times), find his dummy/stick dummy back in (25 times), rewrap (15 times), change him due to wet sleepsuit (1 time), try not to laugh at his loud squealing and remind him it’s sleeptime, not playtime (5 times) and so on and so on and so on. This is not normal nighttime behaviour for my little bear who, I’d come to believe, was quite the dream sleeper at a mere 5 months. (Always a bad move being smug about your baby’s good sleep habits on social media.)

Every time he’s in a Week, I feverishly search the app for a solution, any solution, to make him behave himself / sleep / stop whinging etc. I always find this sentence: “As your baby’s leaps become more intense for him, you will find that it becomes more difficult for you as well. It is normal that you will be more annoyed with his whining behaviour, and you may sometimes feel as though you have had enough and occasionally, find yourself desperate to hurry through these behaviours. You are not alone.”

I must have read that sentence 25 times. And I fully expect to read it a few more. Because according to the app, this ‘Week’ Charlie’s in, actually lasts 4 weeks. Holy moly. The thing is, I’ve now become one of those parents who says to other new parents, ‘Hmmm, sounds like you’re in a Wonder Week. Have you heard of the Wonder Weeks? You’ve absolutely got to go check out the book/app/website.”

Do you know about Wonder Weeks? Is it something you notice in your baby or not?

Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

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