Previously, the Wonder Weeks covered from birth to the beginnings of toddlerhood, but as of today authors Hetty Van de Rijt and Frans Plooij have launched the new, expanded version of their wonderful book which takes us all the way to twenty weeks and through ten of the greatest learning episodes that a child experiences.
From the press release:
It’s not your imagination– all babies go through a difficult period around the same age. Research has shown that babies make 10 major, predictable, age-linked changes – or leaps – during their first 20 months of their lives. During this time, they will learn more than in any other time. With each leap comes a drastic change in your baby’s mental development, which affects not only his mood, but also his health, intelligence, sleeping patterns and the “three C’s” (crying, clinging and crankiness).
Babies cry during a leap because they’ve reached a radical new step in their mental development. That is good: it gives them the opportunity to learn new things. The “difficult” behavior is actually a signal that great progress is underway.
Like the physical growth spurts that a child makes, the mental development of children is also made with leaps. Neurological research has shown that such leaps are accompanied by changes in the brain. The Wonder Weeks, by Dutch authors Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij, describes in easy to understand terms the incredible developmental changes that all babies go through during their first 20 months of life.
With each leap, a child will enter a new world, making new observations that he previously was unable to notice.
I had the opportunity to review the original version of the book, which included the first 8 stages of major growth and development in my baby's life... and I found myself constantly saying "Well, that makes sense now", "Of course", and sometimes "Wow" as I went through the book and thought about the stages that Liam and other children go through. With Liam's autism, there were some steps missed, but having this as a reference would have probably helped me pinpoint those issues sooner than I did and verbalize them more effectively.
I love how the authors take you through each stage, first explaining the type of growth and development, the fussy signs associated with the change, how it can impact you as a parent, tips, quotes from other parents, a checklist of things to watch for and suggestions for things to make the leap easier.
The book is well laid out and comprehensive as it walks you through chapters like:
Wonder Week 5: The Leap of Changing Sensations
Wonder Week 8: The Leap of Patterns
Wonder Week 12: The Leap of Smooth Transitions
Wonder Week 19: The Leap of Events
Wonder Week 26: The Leap of Relationships
Wonder Week 37: The Leap of Categories
Wonder Week 46: The Leap of Sequences
Wonder Week 55: The Leap of Programs
Wonder Week 64: The Leap of Principals*
Wonder Week 75: The Leap of Systems*
I think this book is a must read for new and experienced parents, since it provides such profound insights into why and how your baby is doing what they're doing and how fussing, crying and even clinging are part and parcel of growing and learning about their world!
One of the cool new additions to the Wonder Weeks Website (say that 3 x fast) is:
Free Leap Alarm Alerts Parents of Changes
Thousands of new parents worldwide have appreciated getting advance notice that their baby was about to experience a leap through a free Leap Alarm available on The Wonder Weeks’ website (www.thewonderweeks.com).
By simply entering your email address and expected date of delivery, new parents (and other caregivers) can be alerted by email as to when their baby is about to make the next great leap, feature a short description of the coming progress and what they can do to help their baby through the transition.
The expanded edition includes (from the Publisher):
According to Frans Plooij, Ph.D., author of the international bestseller The Wonder Weeks and one of the world’s top specialists in infant/child development and parent-baby interactions, in order to make toddlerhood easier for both parent and child, parents need to understand what’s happening in their child’s brain and embrace what he is going through. By understanding what is going on in the brain at the age of 64 weeks (ninth mental leap) and 75 weeks (tenth and last mental leap in infancy), you can moderate the behavior of your “teenaging toddler” and help him navigate this period of development.
This stage, including the supposed “terrible twos” is cause for celebration, says Dr. Plooij, and needs to be approached as such. In the years since the publication of his original book, Dr. Plooij continued to research the developmental leaps in infants together with numerous national and international experts. The results are found in an extended version of The Wonder Weeks, which explores how the ninth and tenth are key leaps to form the basis of a well-educated child in cleverness and in well-raised person.
These leaps are tremendous as it is during this time that a child begins to learn about – and set - values and norms that will carry him through life. This period, which Dr. Plooij refers to as “teenaging toddlers” is similar to a first adolescence.
“Temper tantrums, manipulation and a healthy ego are all part of a baby’s sense of self as they enter toddler-hood,” according to Dr. Plooij. “Much like a teenager, a toddler will pout, push buttons and challenge to norm in order to get his way.” For both the toddler and the teenager, it amounts to learning how to assert himself and separate himself from everyone around him.
For the first time, a child understands he is a different person than mommy and his family is a different family than another family. Once he comprehends these differences, he learns to “play” with them. How? By tempting the rules and even acting out. At this age in development, the now-toddler has figured out how to push the right buttons until he gets what he wants.
According to Dr. Plooij, and the premise of his research, this doesn’t have to be a dreadful time between parent and child if the parent is prepared. “If you know what is going on in your child’s brain,” he says, “you know what you can demand from him. If you don’t know this you ask too little, giving no challenge to the child and allowing him to “be the boss,” or you demand too much, which can be frustrating for the child because he is simply not able to meet the too high standards. So the key is to ask that what they can handle, no more, no less, and setting reachable – but still challenging - goals.”
“Your toddler is now learning to be himself in a group,” he continues, “and all the nagging and temper tantrums are just his way of saying ‘Hey, Mom, give me some guidance here!’”
A child doesn’t need to act so “terrible,” as long as you know what to do and, more important: why he is acting this way. By understanding these leaps you can make the transition into toddlerhood, and the subsequent stages including the “terrible two’s,” into the “tremendous two’s” and beyond. “Tremendous,” says Dr. Plooij, “because it is with these leaps that a huge part of socialization is set for life. And tremendous: because good values and norms start now. If you invest in your toddler in this time, it will pay off for lifetime and especially in puberty.”
More from Heather:
I can't wait to get my hands on an updated copy of this book - because I think the insights will be invaluable in terms of being prepared and navigating the independence stage in a positive way!
I am so excited to be able to be one of the very first bloggers to be able to offer the brand new edition of this book to my readers!!! We are giving away FIVE copies of this brand new book!!!
This giveaway will end on November 3rd at 11:59PM and the winners will be announced after that!!
How to win:
Visit www.thewonderweeks.com and let me know something you've learned. (I highly recommend checking out the video!)
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