Wonder Week 12: Transitions

It’s that time again. Time for things to change in baby land. On Thursday afternoon I got an email from The Wonder Weeks letting me know that Oliver was getting ready to head into a Wonder Week. Here is the gist of week 12:

During the first year, your baby will learn things that adults find so natural and simple that they no longer notice them. But for babies, they are the most complex things they can handle and therefore their ‘peak experiences’. The perception and control of ‘patterns’ is followed by the ability to perceive ‘smooth transitions.’ That enables your baby to move less stiff and robotic. That new ability is also reflected in the way he plays with his voice, and is the reason that babies love to play ‘airplane’, with them in your hands as they ‘fly’ across the room, making steep dives and rising again.

Because of my awareness of Wonder Weeks 5 and 8, I now know what to look for when they arise. I know that shit is gonna be cray for a bit and there isn’t much I can do about it. In that same regard, it isn’t something I am doing that is causing it either. That, I think, is the most comforting part. He has to get through it to develop and we just have to help him through it as best we can. There will be crying…but it has a “reason” to my messed up brain. If I didn’t know about this milestone I would start thinking we had nursing issues, sleep regressions, and just be batty. And we all know what batty gets me!  SHINGLES. And FUCK.THAT.NOISE.

So on Saturday, the weird eating pattern showed up again. He would start eating and then pop off and on the rest of the “meal”. Not really fussy but just wanting to chat or get my attention and then pop on for a few sucks and back off. SO AGGRAVATING. Naps all day were short and restless. He is getting better at crying it out but he would sleep hard for 30 minutes and then just be restless in and out of sleep the rest of the chunk of time. Poor guy.

Then Saturday night he was up SCREAMING every 2 hours. Not the usual, “hey mom, I ran into the side of the crib” or “hey I’m kinda hungry here”. Nope. The wake-from-a-dead-sleep WAIL. Once again, I didn’t let it get me down, I just nursed him every time (though he didn’t eat much) and put him back down. I knew it would work to get us as much sleep as we could get. Sunday? Back to the usual 2 feeding routine.

He has still had the funny feedings but I just roll with it. I know he is getting enough. He is generally happy. No need to stress out. He still gets 1 bottle at day at school and does just fine. If I feel like he didn’t nurse well in the evening, I make a bigger bottle for him to have after bath. His napping is a bit wonky at daycare but HEY IT ISN’T MY THING TO STRESS OVER! Hooray!

Now with all this crazy I have also seen the changes they mentioned:

Examples of what your baby may be able to do after going through this leap:

  • Follow something with his eyes in a “fluid motion;” – I watched him following his toys this morning in a much more smooth motion. His eyes move swiftly before turning his whole head.
  • Turn his head “in a fluent motion,” when following something; – He is following everyone in the house’s voice now.
  • It is more lively, more active, squirms and is turning in all direction; – Yup
  • Rolls from tummy to back (with a little help); – He has done this for a few weeks. His neck control is pretty amazing. He doesn’t need help.
  • Shakes a rattle; – not quite but he has gotten ahold of the toys on his mobile and held on while squirmin around.
  • Discovers new possibilities of the voice such as screaming, cooing, and crowing; – He has a new noise every day and really likes hearing me change my pitch.
  • Blows ‘saliva bubbles’; – He JUST did this yesterday in massage class.
  • Clearly shows in his behavior when he finds something funny or interesting; – Making him “dance a jig” while lying down makes him “laugh”. You can see in his face he is laughing but sound doesn’t always come out 🙂

If it isn’t clear, I am totally buying into this concept. I know reading parenting books can make you crazy but I feel like this one does the exact opposite for me. It says “hey woman, chill the fudge out. Shit has to hit the fan before he can learn new things”. They explain it as a concept of waking up one day and your world looks totally different. You have to learn to adapt to it…and that is what they are doing. This is a much better answer in my mind than “It’s a baby” or “It’s a phase” as blanket statements. Cause and effect. It helps me. The book really goes in depth in explaining the milestones, what to watch for, how to help them really make the most of it and even a section from other moms who got frustrated. I think that is my favorite part really. Seeing those “me too”s. The honesty when you are so frustrated with this little being when you know you shouldn’t be. The guilt. It is stifling sometimes but it is nice to read you aren’t alone. Turn it around and see that your baby is scared of his new world and take the cuddles. We have worn him more for the past few days to make him feel safer. I hope it is helping.

So go get the Kindle edition for your phone, it will help keep you sane when you are feeding the kid for the 4th time in the night and don’t know why. It may just be a Wonder Week. 🙂


P.S. Thanks to all the moms who pointed me to this book. BIG BOOB SQUISH!

11 thoughts on “Wonder Week 12: Transitions

  • October 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I checked that book out from the library when Adelaide was around that age and found it super helpful. She is going through some seriously shit right now though (9.5 months) and I was just wondering if maybe its a wonder week thing. Better go back to the library. Good luck with your 12 weeker!

    • October 17, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      So awesome…and btw, I LOVE the name Adelaide. I assume you play the Ben Folds song for her?

  • Pingback:Wonder Week 19 aka 4 Month Sleep Regression

  • July 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    I discovered your blog while googling sleep regression… Quite ironically I also just discovered the wonder weeks a couple days ago. I’m guessing that just completing leap three is what I’m on the tail end of here. We went from sleeping six hour stretches at night and self soothing with her thumb to sleep to crying when I put her down, screaming when it’s nap time, waking every two hours throughout the night and not letting anyone other than myself hold her. I just wanted to let you know that your posts make me laugh out loud, help me understand whats going on, put things in perspective and realize I’m not the only one with the shit hitting the fan…. And most importantly… It will get better. Thanks! 🙂

  • December 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Bless you. I’ve come across this entry in looking for help regarding my sweet 12 week old. He has been a brilliant/easy napper for the past 12 weeks. Now, all of a sudden, despite absolutely NO change in our routine, he was refusing to nap, fighting the swaddle and constantly waking after being put down, refusing to sleep anywhere but in our arms. I was so frustrated and didn’t understand what was going on/what I did wrong; reading your experience was like a little light bulb (especially talking about how he was distracted nursing. I realized “oh yes, that too!”). “I know that shit is gonna be cray for a bit and there isn’t much I can do about it.” –> So glad I found this — I will definitely be looking into this Wonder Weeks theory.

    • December 25, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      Bless you. And not to scare you but brace yourself for week 19ish. It’s gonna fucking suck.

  • January 6, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    My son’s in this wonder week right now and my life matches your description exactly. With our first I didn’t know about wonder weeks and I went NUTS every time trying to fix it. It helps so much this time to know what’s going on but it still gets a little frustrating to never, ever have two hands free… So I enjoyed your post. Thanks for the solidarity.

  • September 29, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    This is the best advice I’ve read. My baby will be 12 weeks on Monday and he just went into a fit of rage. My husband and I were dumbfounded. After trying everything to get him to calm down I finally tried skin to skin contact and it worked. Now I’m reading your article and it all makes sense. I also feel more capable of dealing with this leap. Thanks for sharing.


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