Book Review - The Wonder Weeks

11 April 2011

The Wonder Weeks by Hetty Vanderijt and Frans Plooij.

This is a book that I've had recommended on more than one occasion. After visiting the book's website, my curiosity got the better out of me and I ordered a copy off Amazon. I decided to buy instead of borrow because based on the rave reviews, I was pretty sure that it will be a keeper; and it is.

The concept of wonder weeks is that babies go through certain mental development periods - referred to as wonder weeks - and parents can make transitions easier by understanding what the baby is going through and how to help. In the first one year of life, babies will go through 8 wonder weeks viz
5 - The world of changing sensations 
8 - The world of patterns 
12 - The world of smooth transitions
19 - The world of events 
26 - The world of relationships 
37 - The world of categories 
46 - The world of sequences 
55 - The world of programs

Each Wonder Week signifies a mental transition or leap for the baby and is preceded by a fussy phase and ends with a cheerful phase once full transition has been made. In the chapters dedicated to each Wonder Week, that authors explain the mental developments the baby is experiencing, the fussy signs to expect, how the leap will affect the parents, new skills that will emerge post-leap and what you can do to help your child through the process. The "What you can do to help" sections were a personal favorite

In reading this book, I had a lot of "ah ha!" moments. It was like getting a peek at the world through the eyes of my baby and understanding the overwhelming sensations that cause babies to become fussy and cling to mommy sort of like an anchor. Understanding my role as a stabilizing force in what is a period of great and scary change for my babies gives me a lot more empathy for them. And I tell you what, we're right at the wonder week 19 mark and mommy needs a tall drink from the river of empathy.

If you do not have any real interest in human psychology, this book is not for you. Do I love this book? In case you can't tell, yes I do. It's awesome and strongly recommended for any parent interested in not just the what, but the also the why of their babies' moods and phases.

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