Leap 1: Here we go again

Guest blogger: Christine Verdonck

When I was pregnant with my first, my friend suggested I look into the Wonder Weeks, because she had found it helpful with her kids. Maybe I’m old school, but I like reading books on paper so decided to get the book instead of the app. Plus, this way I could write right in the book and make notes as he grew. My mind was blown at how accurate the timing was for my son’s leaps, and my husband and I, as well as his grandparents, found it so incredibly helpful to know what was going on inside his little brain and body. I was disappointed when the book ended after week 82 – I’ve really missed the roadmap as he grows through toddlerhood.

Fast forward a couple of years, and my son’s younger brother Luke arrived. My friends threw me a little baby shower, and I put another copy of the Wonder Weeks book on my registry, since my first copy was written in and marked up with Isaac’s milestones. That’s how much I believed in and relied on this information, so I’m hoping it’ll help guide us again as Luke grows.

Luke was born at 37 weeks, completely healthy and 1.5lb larger than his big brother was when he was born! So as I re-read the book, I prepared myself for some calculating to figure out when to expect his leaps and I watched and waited for the telltale signs of Leap 1

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Luke hit Leap 1 the day before he turned 6 weeks. I’ll watch for Leap 2 and see if he’s about a week later starting that one too, then I’ll know when to expect further progressions to hit. I wrote down my guesses in the book for the dates I think each leap will start so I can watch for them and be prepared. I highly recommend making notes of when you think the leap will happen, either in your book or on your calendar on your phone!

Did you know that all you have to do is fill in the due date in our app and you will automatically get a notification when the fussy phase of the leaps begins?

Here we go again

It was actually my husband who noticed first that Luke had entered a leap. He wondered why our little guy was so fussy and hard to settle. Usually, he only cries when he’s hungry (knock on wood I don’t jinx it by writing that!), so the fussing and difficulty getting him down to sleep took us by surprise. Fortunately, I had just finished reading about the telltale signs of a leap, and realized right away what was happening. Because Luke was born a bit early, I wasn’t sure when he would actually start his leaps, but now we know he’ll likely be about a week behind. 

So, our usually easy-going baby was crying more, napping less and for shorter periods and just generally making things a little more difficult. One morning was especially hard; I had been hoping to get a few things done around the house and he just would not settle. Holding him wasn’t helping, he wouldn’t lay on the floor and certainly wasn’t going to sleep in his bassinet. He’d fall asleep restlessly in my arms but as soon as I tried to put him down – bam – wide awake and cranky again. And I desperately needed a nap, but that meant I needed him to sleep first. I texted my husband saying I was fried, the baby wouldn’t sleep and I didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, he was able to come home a bit early from work that particular day, so I was able to get a nap and he got some snuggle time with Luke. 

Big Little Changes

By the end of the following weekend, about 6 days later, things were starting to right themselves again. The crying stopped – except when he was hungry – and getting him down to sleep didn’t take an hour.

On Sunday evening when we were at my parent’s for dinner, my mom put him on the floor on his mat at her feet after he was finished eating. All of a sudden it was like we had a new baby! He was gurgling and cooing and waving his hands; it seemed like he was having a conversation with her. 

Over the next few days, we noticed some other small changes in our boy. He smiles now, and he never did before. His favourite people to smile at are his Mama and his big brother, but he loves to lay on the floor or in someone’s arms and have a conversation, and that’s almost always rewarded with a big gummy grin. He’s quite chatty when conditions are right, and he’ll gurgle and coo and wave his hands. We have a large photo of a famous bridge that he loves to stare at because it’s in black and white so there are lots of contrasts for him to practice looking at. He’s also fascinated with looking out the window, probably because it’s so bright outside in the Canadian winter.

I feel like I’ve finally been bonding more with my little guy since this leap. It’s been challenging – being born during a busy Christmas season plus having a 2.5-year-old big brother meant that I haven’t had as much time to just sit and enjoy him. But now I feel like he’s interacting a lot more with me and is looking for that connection, so I’m making more of a point to make sure to take the time to focus on him too. 

Of course, all this will probably change in a couple of weeks when Leap 2 arrives!

Photography: Miranda Weston

If your curiosity has been sparked and you want to know all about the 10 leaps, the fussy phases, and all the accompanying skills, download our app now!

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