Wonder Weeks Hell – Leap 8
We are in some kind of Wonder Weeks hell at the moment.
It’s the fourth week of Leap 8 (Programs) and the little Stuntman has reverted to being a devil-child who cannot fall asleep on his own and cannot stay asleep for more than an hour, day or night. So I’m back to feeding, rocking, patting, shooshing and bouncing him to sleep, several times a night. My back aches, my shoulders ache, my heart aches because I cannot help him.
Exhaustion is an inadequate description. The sleep deprivation is torturous – little black dots seem to crawl up the walls and the room tilts at odd angles. I feel drunk, or perhaps just hungover. I can’t hold a conversation. I can barely hold my head up. Little things become big things as my perspective is all out of whack. A big black hole of depression lies just ahead, waiting to swallow me up.
But at least there is light at the end of this tunnel. This leap is nearly over, and (fingers crossed), our lovely little boy who sleeps though the night will return. With some new mad skills to show off. Just three more days (and nights) to get through…
For those who don’t know about the Wonder Weeks, they are 10 developmental ‘leaps’ that all babies go through in the first 20 months of their lives. Some clever researchers found that the development stages that all babies go through could be predicted almost to the day, so they charted these periods and called them The Wonder Weeks.
Now, I’ll tell you straight up – there’s not very much that’s wonderful about these Wonder Weeks. Some babies (mine) become totally different little creatures during these awful periods, and can be really hard to cope with.
During each Wonder Week leap, babies’ little brains go through an intense period of learning and change; new connections are formed and a greater understanding of the world they’re living in is reached. Understandably, this can be hard for them to deal with.
The first signs that a leap is approaching are the three C’s – crying, crankiness and clinginess. This, plus sleep disturbances (oh yeah!), changes in eating habits and changes in behaviour, can leave parents thinking that they’ve somehow brought the wrong baby home from the park.
Knowing when the Wonder Weeks will occur can be a lifesaver for a sleep deprived parent.
There’s a book, a website, and yep, there’s even an app for that. The Wonder Weeks app is a great help to me, as, although it can’t do anything to change my baby’s behaviour, it gives me warning of what’s ahead, and also provides some advice on how to best help them get through this awful, horrible time.
My mantra during Wonder Weeks is “he’s not giving me a rough time, he’s having a rough time.” Although that doesn’t do much for me at 4am.
Three more days…
Do you track your baby’s Wonder Weeks?