Parenting Science: The Wonder Weeks — www.thewonderweeks.com
This theory is based on the idea that development occurs in a series of predictable “leaps” in which an infant’s understanding of the world is changed. The leaps are described as fussy periods and the book provides an explanation of what your baby may be experiencing during each leap, what skills to look for, and how to help. I bought the Wonder Weeks app and found it useful so far to identify when Ashton might be going through a fussier phase and when it might be over. I found it a useful reminder to think about the world from Aston’s perspective. Think about a time when you were trying to master a new skill. You thought about it a lot, practiced whenever you could, and might have been feeling a little stressed out until you felt like you had mastered this new skill. You may have had trouble sleeping or been a little shorter with others than you meant to be. Babies feel this way multiple times during the first year. Keeping that idea in the front of my mind (and having a handy little app to remind me when it might be happening) was really helpful to put the tough days in perspective. These “fussy” days mean that development is happening – right now!
In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t fully agree with all the components of this theory. For example, I think the development of object permanence (i.e., the end of “out of sight, out of mind” and the understanding that things exist even when we can’t see them), is a game changing skill. Once babies have this understanding, their whole understanding of the world is changed and it is a necessary precursor for a number of other skills. Imagine how boring peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek would be without this skill! The authors don’t consider this to be its own leap, but rather, the baby developing an understanding of distances. I agree that understanding distances is necessary for this skill, but think that it’s much more than that. But, like all parenting advice, take what you find useful and trust your instincts on the rest. No one knows your baby better than you.
I bought the app and the book, but felt like the app provided enough information for me. I just don’t have time to read through hundreds of pages of information with a new baby at home. I’d rather spend my time playing with that baby! The quick and dirty summary was enough for me, but if you want more information, feel free to buy the book, get it from the library, or borrow mine.