When we were expecting Madeline we were gifted a lot of books, mostly children’s books for Madeline. But we were also given a few parenting books. One of my favorites is The Wonder Weeks, given to me by my sister.
The premise of Wonder Weeks is that, while every baby is different, they hit certain developmental milestones or “wonder weeks” at the same time in the first 20 months of their lives. This book points out each of the times in your baby’s life that they will be going through a developmental milestone and what that milestone is. Each chapter is a different wonder week. It tells you what to expect from your baby, what’s going on with them, what you can do as a parent to help and when it will pass (thankfully!).
Here’s an example: I started noticing Madeline was uncharacteristically fussy on a Wednesday, the day before she turned 9 weeks old. She would randomly squeal and cry, she only wanted to be held, she was nursing more frequently than usual, and she seemed to only be able to be comforted by me. Sometimes even only sleeping when I held her. Sure enough when I looked it up in the book these were all tell tale signs that she was in a leap. Most babies typically hit a leap sometime between 8 and 9 weeks that can last into the 10th week of life. This is a big wonder week as it’s the one where baby discovers patterns. These are not just visual patterns, but patterns of behavior, etc. it’s typically the time when baby discovers her hands and feet and this can take a toll on the baby.
One of the best parts about this book is it is also a diary. For each wonder week there are checklists at the beginning to recognize symptoms and at the end to see if baby has developed the skills associated with that wonder week.
I had known that this wonder week was coming up. In preparation I had ordered Madeline wrist and feet rattles so she can learn her hands and feet a little more easily. I also noticed in that week that she really took an affinity for a certain toy – Jaques Peacock. He’s a Lamaze brand toy, high contrast patterned. It’s perfect for a baby going through this development.
Wonder weeks take a toll not only on baby but on the parents as well. When your easy going baby is hard to console, it can really shake your confidence. I did a double take thinking maybe something was wrong or maybe I was doing something wrong. It’s comforting to be able to reference this book and know why it’s happening and that if nothing else, I’m not alone on the journey of parenthood!
Are there any parenting books that you have truly loved? Let us know!