Wonder Weeks – What Are The Wonder Weeks?

Wonder Weeks - What Are The Wonder Weeks?

The Wonder Weeks

After you have a baby, you might hear some people say that no-one has written an instruction manual for a baby! But after having three babies of my own, I truly believe The Wonder Weeks book comes as close as you’re going to get.

Sometimes you discover such awesome information that seems to be the missing piece of the puzzle that you’ve been searching for, for so long.

That puzzle piece is The Wonder Weeks.

Written by two Dutch Paediatricians, Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij, The Wonder Weeks is pure solid gold. It makes stressful parenting weeks much more bearable.

“For 35 years, we have been studying interactions between mothers and babies. We have documented — in objective observations, from personal records, and on videotape — the times at which mothers report their babies to be ‘difficult.’

These difficult periods are usually accompanied by the three C’s: clinginess, crankiness, and crying.

We now know that they are the tell-tale signs of a period in which the child makes a major leap forward in his mental development,” say the book’s authors.

Upon recommendation from mothers and professionals alike, I bought this book after my second baby was born. I was completely blown away at how accurate the book is – the timeline of when the fussy phases occur, the behaviours babies display, and the skills they are mastering.

So many people I know have similar sentiments about The Wonder Weeks. There are a plethora of reviews and testimonials from professionals around the world, including this one below:

“Anyone who deals with infants and young children will want to read ‘The Wonder Weeks.’ This book will open parents’ eyes to aspects of their children’s growth, development, changing behaviour, and emotional responsiveness that they might otherwise not notice or find puzzling and distressing.” — Catherine Snow, Ph.D., Shattuck Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Australian breastfeeding counsellor of over 20 years (now BellyBelly Parenting Editor), Yvette O’Dowd, says she was skeptical of the wonder weeks when she first heard of it. But upon reflection, she noticed that many of the calls she took through a breastfeeding helpline would tend to be around the specific Wonder Weeks.

The Wonder Weeks Chart

The book contains a brilliant Wonder Weeks chart in a timeline format, which I recommend photocopying and sticking on your fridge! It alerts parents to which weeks are ‘stormy’, ‘sunny’, and when your baby is more likely to be fussy. The chapters go into detail about each week, explaining why each Leap happens and what you can do to help your baby.

Just knowing my baby was going through a Wonder Week was enough to take a huge load off my mind. I knew it’s wasn’t what I was doing wrong, but my baby was simply having a hard time. While she was going through a big developmental leap, she needed my help to ease through it.

It’s amazing what difference it makes to your confidence and sanity when you know that there’s a reason your baby is having a hard time — and it’s nothing you’re doing wrong.

When Are The Wonder Weeks?

The Wonder Weeks – or Leaps – are as follows. Bear in mind that while most parents find them to be very accurate, some babies may be a little behind or forward, while still being predictable. Click the links for a more detailed overview of the specific weeks:

  • Wonder Week 5 – The World of Changing Sensations (Leap 1)
  • Wonder Week 8 – The World of Patterns (Leap 2)
  • Wonder Week 12 – The World of Smooth Transitions (Leap 3)
  • Wonder Week 19 – The World of Events (Leap 4)
  • Wonder Week 26 – The World of Relationships (Leap 5)
  • Wonder Week 37 – The World of Categories (Leap)
  • Wonder Week 46 – The World of Sequences (Leap 7)
  • Wonder Week 55 – The World of Programs (Leap 8)
  • Wonder Week 64 – The World of Principles (Leap 9)
  • Wonder Week 75 – The World of Systems (Leap 10)

The Wonder Weeks book is brilliant, I can’t rave about it enough — you’ll definitely be glad you bought it. It has been an international bestseller for years, selling more than 1 million copies worldwide in 12 languages

Grab your copy of the book from The Book Depository here (free delivery worldwide).

If you prefer Amazon, you will find the Wonder Weeks here.

Still not sure what it’s about? Check out the below great clip which summarises the wonder weeks. Enjoy!


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Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a writer, doula (trained in 2005), and a mother of three awesome children. She's passionate about informing and educating fellow thinking parents and parents-to-be, especially about all the things she wishes she knew before she had her firstborn. Kelly is also passionate about travel, tea, travel, and animal rights and welfare. And travel.

  1. Hi there
    I live in South Africa and am trying to purchase this book online. Any idea where i can get it from as The Book Depository, which includes free world wide delivery, shows it as currently unavailable.
    Thank you

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