Just this past week I have found Fraser has gone from being a very settled baby to a sometimes upset little baby. He's been waking for more frequent feeds at night and not settling back to sleep straight after a feed at night like he was before. At first I thought it might have been that he's caught the cold we've all had but he's showing no other signs of that. Then I wondered was this the age that things go to Sh*t and you start worrying that you're never going to have a sleeping baby ever again? lol. Then after my second night of stop/start sleep I remembered something I had looked into when Ehren would seem out of whack, something one of my fellow Essential Baby (EB) Mums suggested to me.
Wonder Weeks!! Of course, why had I not thought of that before? I looked up what weeks it was expected he was to be having one of these Wonder weeks and sure enough 8 weeks is one of them! For those who haven't heard of a Wonder week (and trust me I had no clue with the first 2 boys) it's apparently a certain time frame of a baby's development when things are amped up. When the baby is developing a new important skill their little brain is a hive of activity and they find it harder to settle, sleep, feed, basically everything we expect a baby to do! There are certain developmental milestones they are working on at certain ages. The important milestones are classed into 8 Wonder weeks within the first 2 years of a baby's life.
- Week 5 - Changing Sensation: New sensations start to bombard baby as he becomes more alert and aware of the World around him at this age. It's not so much the sensations themselves, more the perception of them. For example a soiled nappy may not have previously worried baby but now he is becoming much more aware of the feeling it creates and might get much more upset when it's not readily changed.
- Week 8 - Simple pattern: At this age baby starts to recognise simple patterns in both the World around him and his own body. The arms and legs he first took for granted as mere dangling attachments now become tools for him to reach and touch, kick and play. (This is exactly what Fraser has been doing the past few days. He has started reaching out for the toys on his play gym for the very first time.)
- Week 12 - Smooth transitions: At this age baby will start to fine tune the movements he started to learn in the last wonder week (wk 8). Instead of swiping at a toy hanging from the play gym baby will now be learning how to pick up the toy next to them. They might start grabbing at Mum's hair or necklace with a real intention to rip it off. Baby will also now be hearing much better and able to follow a voice across the room or begin to notice when a room is dimly lit or bright (perhaps able to judge day from night much better now).
- Week 18 - Change of events: Baby is starting to recognise the pattern of events. When Mum leaves the room baby is starting to realise she may not come back for some time. When Mum changes baby's nappy and dresses baby in their sleeping bag they realise they are going to bed. The brain is starting to work at an amazing pace now, understanding more of a cause and effect than ever before.
- Week 26 - Movement & Distance: Baby is starting to sit and starting to learn the skills required for the first significant movement in their life, the crawl! Baby is starting to discover distance of an object to themselves. The World suddenly seems like such a huge place and he feels like such a tiny part of it. When Mum leaves the room she could be headed to China for all he knows, and he feels stuck without a way to reach her.
- Week 37 - Investigations: Baby is now more than ever ready to investigate the World around him in better detail. He wants to know what the banana feels like squished between his fingers. He wants to know the difference between patting the cat or pulling the cat's tail.
- Week 46 - Sequencing: Just as baby seemed to be intent on wreaking havoc in his last wonder week he now starts to do the opposite. He is now interested in putting things back to where they belong (or where he thinks they belong) or may realise that he has to endure the first morning nappy change before he can get breakfast. Baby is starting to understand that things go in order or belong to a category.
- Week 55 - Toddler hood: Your baby is now becoming a toddler. He is discovering new and exciting ways to learn about the World around him. He may now be walking but if not then he is sure trying to, as he is beginning to understand that from a standing position he can reach and explore from a whole new angle and height.
For me I find it reassuring to know that the reason baby is going through an unsettled period is more than likely because they are going through another stage of developing and not because of something I am doing 'wrong'. I will try and keep in mind from now on that when I think Fraser is playing up to annoy me, he is merely learning how to engage and operate in this big scary place we call the World.
Until next time,