Being a new parent, each week is different from the last. Your baby can have sporadic behavior changes. You may be surprised to learn that there is actually a reason behind this. This can be due to something called ‘Wonder Weeks’. At this point, you may be asking yourself ‘What are wonder weeks?’ Well, luckily for you, we will cover that and much more in this article!
What are Wonder Weeks?
A Wonder Week is easily mistaken for a growth spurt, but these are two very different things. Whilst growth spurts are related to your baby physically growing. Wonder Weeks are when your baby goes through significant mental developments. During these weeks, you will notice your baby’s mood has a tendency to change very quickly and unfortunately, this can be a tough time for both baby and parents. Babies will usually become a lot more cranky and unsettled.
When do they happen?
This will depend on the individual baby. There are a lot of factors that influence their development. These can include the environment, genetics, gender, siblings, but in reality, the list is endless. Wonder weeks seem to appear at around the same time for most babies, give or take a week, they usually happen at 5, 8, 12,17, 26, 36, 44, 55, 64 and 75 weeks.
What happens during the Wonder Weeks?
First Wonder Week
During this time, a lot will be happening in your baby’s mind. Throughout the first wonder week, their senses will heighten. Almost all of their senses will be affected here. They are going to be bombarded with a whole new world, where they can smell more, hear more and taste more.
Second Wonder Week
In the second wonder week, around the 8-week mark, your baby is going to start to recognize simple shapes and patterns. You may notice that they get easily distracted by shadows or the TV. They are also going to start noticing their hands and feet plus they will spend hours practicing how to move and control them. During this time, it can seem difficult to keep your baby focused, but it is good to let them explore their newfound skills. You will notice they are also going to want to put these skills to good use. They will start to hit and swipe objects they can reach. Watch out for anything that can easily be broken or cause an accident. This could be a good time to baby proof your house.
Third Wonder Week
Around week 12, you’re going to notice the third major change in your baby’s development. During the previous wonder week, your baby discovered their hands and feet. Now they have had some time to play with them and learn how they work. There is going to be a change in how they start to control them. There will be a little more thought put into what they do with their appendages. Your baby’s world is starting to become a little more organized as they start to recognize simple transitions in sound, movement, and taste. This may be noticeable as they learn to follow sounds and patterns.
Fourth Wonder Week
Now it’s around week 17 for your baby’s development. Until now, a baby could only focus on the most simple transitions, such as noticing when a voice moves around the room. This is going to start to develop and they are going to become a little more perceptive to the world around them.
Fifth Wonder Week
This is one of the biggest steps, during week 26, the baby is going to start to learn at a faster pace. They will try new things that they haven’t done before. One of the most significant things your baby is going to learn is the relationship between objects and how distance works. Up until now, there hasn’t been a sense of scale in your baby’s mind, but now as their senses grow their depth perception will start to develop.
Sixth Wonder Week
Around week 36, your baby’s thoughts are going to start to become a lot more organized and it’s more than likely you’re going to notice this as they start to become a lot methodical with the way they do things. You may notice they start to pick up more objects and concentrate on them for a longer time. They may start to change the way they interact with foods on their plates as they explore the different textures. As they learn to differentiate between objects, they are going to start to categorize them. They will slowly start to recognize the difference between food and toys for example.
Seventh Wonder Week
At week 44, your baby is going to explore more and probably making a lot more of a mess. As they start to learn what different textures are and how they are linked to certain objects, they also will start to recognize simple sequences. They will become more aware of you doing certain actions, such as preparing their food and make the connection that the time to eat is coming soon. So, if you want to introduce routines, now is a good time to start, as they will learn to link certain actions or sounds.
Eighth Wonder Week
Shortly after your baby’s first birthday, it’s going to be time for another big leap. They are now leaving their baby phase and entering their toddler stages. During their previous wonder weeks, they were beginning to understand sequences and now is the time when they will start to make decisions based on them. You are going to notice a little more thought put into their actions.
Ninth Wonder Week
Now we are almost at the last wonder week. Now you are going to notice that they learn the differences between different actions, and understand what’s yours and theirs. They will learn to share for example. You will also notice during these times that they are going to start imitating others around them.
Tenth and Final Wonder Week
The final major leap, at around week 75 is when their consciousness will start to grow. They are going to slowly understand different emotions and how these can affect outcomes. This will be noticeable when they want to get their own way. They are going to learn what emotions they need to put across for certain things to happen. You will also notice that they will start to learn how to read other people’s emotions and how they can be affected.
What to do during a Wonder Week?
Something that is often overlooked during this time: Look after yourself! These times can be very tiring and draining for a parent. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, as well as the baby.
Remember that your baby isn’t always going to be this fussy. They are going through huge changes and will feel insecure at times. It is possible that they are going to become a lot more clingy. Make sure to give lots of cuddles and allow your baby to get close to you so they can feel safe.
During these weeks, your baby’s schedule is probably going to be thrown off. They will want to sleep and feed at different times. Babies usually want to be fed more often during these weeks. If possible, try staying at home. It can help to keep your baby much more settled and protected, especially in a familiar environment.
We hope this will help when your baby is going through these major changes. If you have come across anything else that can help during these important weeks, feel free to let us know in the comments!