Why Your Baby Might Be Extra Fussy – The Wonder Weeks

This phenomenon known as the Wonder Weeks is a far underutilized concept to mothers.  I had never even heard anything about this until a wise friend enlightened me on why Aiden was being extra fussy, cranky and needy one particular week.  His fourth and fifth week of life went on fairly well.  We were getting used to each other and I had learned his cues.  Sleep was getting a little better and I was feeling on top of the moon about how things were going and the fact that I thought I had an easy baby (despite the fact that the boy likes to eat all.the.time.).  Then… without notice, the end of the fifth week occurred and we were off track!  He wouldn’t go to sleep no matter how much I swaddled, rocked, sang, walked or fed him.  I remember one night being up for 4 hours in the middle of the night with no sleep in sight.

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Frustrated, I posted on facebook “Lesson of the night: babies are unpredictable. Once you think you may have started a sleeping pattern, they throw that idea out the door and stay up for 3 hours and counting in the middle of the night sporadically eating. Good thing I love him and I can listen to fun.”

This is when I learned about the wonder weeks and it made all the sense in the world!

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The wonder weeks are developmental times in an infants life where they learn a new skill and because of this get the 3 c’s: cranky, crying, and clingy.  There are 10 mental leaps in the first two years of life, which occur at ages:

5 weeks – The world of changing sensations

8 weeks – The world of patterns

12 weeks – The world of smooth transitions

19 weeks – The world of events

26 weeks – The world of relationships

37 weeks – The world of categories

46 weeks – The world of sequences

55 weeks – The world of programs

64 weeks – The world of principles

75 weeks – The world of systems

Despite the name wonder “week,” they can last slightly longer than a week and Aiden gives me little to no warning.  We are in the midst of our second wonder week and I’m running haggard and exhausted.  He’s fighting sleep like no other and is very fussy and cranky.  Things that used to soothe him like a pacifier make him scream at the sight of one.  I think we are winding down with this one… for now.

On the upside, there are sunny weeks as well!  This occurs when babies have mastered their new skill and are having fun utilizing it.  This are the weeks we are grateful to be parents and think their baby is the most perfect angel on earth.

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There we have it – the wonder weeks.  Unfortunately, I have had to just let Aiden go through these weeks on his own and the only thing I can do is hold him when he cries and let him know I’m here for him.  It does help to know that these are real and all babies go through them – there is nothing wrong with you or your baby.  In fact, it’s a great thing because they are learning so much!

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