Brace yourselves for the storm ahead!
It’s been a rough 2 weeks over here with our little guy. Just as he started sleeping soundly and becoming satisfied in his ability to crawl wherever he wanted, Cillian’s back to fussing and clinging to me as if we can never be apart for even just 10 seconds.
Now with my eldest son, I was completely confused and dumbfounded when he was a baby and had drastic mood swings. Mainly because he was such calm and quiet baby so when he’d be crying more than from being hungry I was really concerned. When things seemed out of wack like him suddenly waking more frequently at night or him protesting and screaming bloody murder for a diaper change, I’d turn to google to figure out what was going on. I ended up finding baby forum chats about other parents going through similar events. The conclusion and answer to their baby’s new behaviors was that they were in a leap!
There are 10 leaps that every baby goes through in which they’re experiencing intense mental development. While their brain is recognizing things they’ve never noticed before, the baby is trying to comprehend and re-adjust in its surroundings. Each leap involves the 3 C’s (crying, clinging, and crankiness), accompanied by your little one having difficulty in multiple areas like sleeping or their mood but in the end you have a baby who seems more alert, aware and content.
5 years ago I discovered The Wonder Weeks app which became a sanity saver! Although I had always been the Aunt who babysat all of the kids, I never knew anything about mental leaps or growth spurts. I guess that’s because I only had my nieces and nephews for a short time and then they’d go back home after. This app has been on my phone through baby 1, 2 and now 3 until we reach the last developmental milestone. I’ve yet to read the best-selling book, but the app is fantastic as it tells you what stage in development your baby is currently at. Once the due date is entered, the app tracks baby’s stage on the leap chart so you can prepare for the 3 C’s before they hit. You’ll even get a notification in your calendar a few days before hand as you’ll be too busy to remember. Each leap is broken down for you to understand, detailing how you can help your baby and what to expect moving forward. It’s truly fascinating!
Cillian is currently in the sixth leap, which is known as the world of categories. He’s just mastered crawling and onto standing up with the couch, wall, etc, so he’s observing and examining every single thing that he comes across. He’s been waking more at night and nursing for comfort more frequently around the clock. Sleep times have become difficult as he seems to be almost at the ‘stormiest period’ of the leap and needing my constant touch it seems. He has become a lot more affectionate and sweet, especially with his Dad who is having an easier time getting him to sleep than I have been.
These leaps are the most difficult parts of a baby’s life as their world as they knew it before is changing and they literally have no idea what’s going on. Babies are little geniuses who are capable of much more than we know. What they need most is warmth, affection and guidance as they navigate new territories. So in these hard times, hold them as close and as much as you can and it’ll make all the difference.
Now the next time you find yourself up multiple times at night with your baby who normally would sleep soundly, you can possibly chalk it up to them being in a leap. At least you’ll have something figured out!