Beckham has been by far the easiest out of all four of my babies. He has slept in his crib from day one, rarely wakes up early from his naps, and even when he wakes up early, he is content to just hang out in his swing.
So it was really strange when he started getting fussy right around 5 weeks.
He was waking up early from his naps.
He wasn’t settling at night.
He was fussy.
My husband and I were going back and forth… could he be hungry? Is my milk supply low? Is he not getting enough milk? Is he gassy?
We tried supplementing with bottles. We tried gas drops. We tried gripe water. We tried shortening his awake time.
He usually woke up between 2-3 AM to nurse, and would always go right back to sleep with no issues.
But now? He was just awake staring around the room.
Finally, it hit me. I knew what was making him fussy and not wanting to sleep!
Beckham was going through his first wonder weeks leap!
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What Are the Wonder Weeks?
The wonder weeks is a book and app that is seriously one of my favorite tools in the baby stage. It is something that I think every new parent should know about because it has made that much of an impact!
It tracks your baby’s development by their due date and predicts when they are going to go through certain fussy phases, known as developmental leaps.
IT. IS. SPOT. ON.
Like it’s almost scary how accurate it is.
You can download the app on your phone, which I HIGHLY recommend. It is $4 and it is 100% worth it. Side note: this isn’t sponsored at all, I just really think this is so valuable.
Once you download the app, you will put in your baby’s due date. It tracks their development based on their due date rather than their birth date because mental development begins in the womb.
“Look at it this way: the brain of a baby that is born three weeks early is not as developed as the brain of a full-term baby. The brain develops in a nd outside the womb. This is why we calculate with the due date.”The Wonder Weeks App
Wondering what that means for a premature baby? –> How to Track the Wonder Weeks with a Premature Baby
Once you have all of the information entered in the app, it will tell you when your baby will begin their fussy periods, which could include sleep regressions, clingy periods, and much more.
The leaps occur when your baby is learning and processing new information. I like to think of it as a growth spurt for the brain.
The wonder weeks will let you know exactly what new skills your baby is learning, and the great thing is that once you know what they are learning, you can work with them on that skill.
Wonder Weeks Leap One: Changing Sensations
The first wonder weeks leaps is wonder week 5. This means that it is the 5th wonder week, or about five weeks after your baby’s due date.
Leap 1 is the leap of changing sensations. Your baby’s world is suddenly turned upside down and they are aware of all sorts of changes that they didn’t notice previously.
Beckham started this leap at 5-weeks on the dot, and he was born one day early.
Leap 1 Signs
Here are the possible signs of leap 1 and you can see which ones I checked off that Beckham had.
This is a screen shot from the app. You can see the boxes I’ve checked of the signs I’ve noticed with Beckham.
You cry more often: I definitely noticed Beckham crying, whining, and fussing more often. He has been such an easy baby that it was a huge change for him to all of a sudden act super fussy.
You want to be kept busy: I did not notice him wanting to be kept busy, and as he’s gotten older, I’ve realized that’s just his personality. He’s 15 weeks at the time that I’m writing this and still doesn’t ever whine for us to entertain him and is almost always content.
You are shyer with strangers all of a sudden: Definitely did NOT notice this, but that’s because thanks to Covid, we weren’t really seeing anyone other than immediate family. So I have no idea if he would have done this or not!
You cling more than usual: Yes, Beckham was all of a sudden the baby that just wanted to be held.
You sleep poorly: His 2 am nightly feedings turned into 2 am sessions of us holding him while he stared around the room. If you are in the middle of dealing with disruptions to baby sleep right now, hear me on this: it will not last forever!
You suck your thumb: While he didn’t quite have the coordination to always get his thumb in his mouth, he was shoving his little fists and fingers in his mouth every opportunity he got.
Leap 1 Skills
Here are the skills or milestones you will observe from your baby during or right after they go through the leap 1.
Here is what I noticed with Beckham during the first mental leap.
Looks at things longer & more often: I definitely noticed Beckham staring at things. Not only was he doing it more often, but it seemed as if he was actually noticing things for the first time and looking at things with intention!
I think this is a big reason that he really started to enjoy lying on his play mat and staring at his toys!
–> Here is a link to our play mat! It is one of my favorite purchases because Beckham loves playing on it so much.
Listens to things more often & pays closer attention: Loud noises are catching his attention a lot more now than they were. And trust me, we have a very noisy house!
Aware of being touched: Beckham is super ticklish and this isn’t something that I noticed before. It’s adorable and my mom has even mentioned that he’s the most ticklish baby she’s ever noticed.
Aware of different smells: I didn’t notice anything with this, but I’m not sure what I would notice.
First Smile: Beckham did smile for the first time shortly after this leap!
Other Signs: Beckham is definitely more alert and aware. After this leap he really seemed to be out of the sleepy newborn phase.
How to Get Through Mental Leap 1
The thing that helps me the most is just realizing that it’s a leap.
Knowing that it’s a leap and truly is a phase they are going through and that it isn’t going to last forever is huge.
Here are ways to help your baby through:
- Keep their schedule and routine as consistent as possible. Try not to alter things, even if they’re waking up early or more frequently. Predictability and structure are comforting to babies.
- Give as much physical contact as possible. It’s comforting to your baby to be close to you, whether you’re wearing them, rocking them, singing to them, etc.
- Engage and talk to your baby. If you talk him through the leap, so to speak, it will make it less scary. Basically, their whole world is turned upside down, and it is a relief to see their parent is still the same!
We are now well through the first leap, and we made it through unscathed! Although it might not feel like it when you’re going through it, the leaps to come to an end.
After each leap it’s so fun to see how your baby’s personality has blossomed and developed!
Other Helpful Posts:
Here are some other posts to help you with baby development.