Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Wonder Weeks - Book Review



To be honest I would never have read The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooj, if it were not for the fact that I had to for a training course I did recently. I probably wouldn’t have even picked off the shelf based on the title and cover image, and should I have picked it up, the back where it promises to tell you "specific dates" that your child will reach these “fussy phases” would have certainly raised alarm bells. If I had flicked through I would have likely been horrified at little tables with tick boxes re what your baby can do at a given age, and then I would have definitely put it down again, moaning about another thing that makes you paranoid about what your baby does and doesn’t do.

Once I actually read it though my opinion changed!

Firstly it appears to be based on some quite sound research. Each chapter has some things to look out for with your child at varying stages and explains what is going in with their development. Furthermore it validates how you might be feeling as your child goes thought these changes or ‘leaps’ , which I believe could help to normalise your experience and comfort you rather than make you paranoid. It also recommends conceptually appropriate things you can do and games you can play to help your baby with their new developments, all of which seem like good activities and having something you can do  is quite empowering when you have a crying baby and you don’t know why. 

There is a degree of flexibility regarding the timeline, and the signs the an individual child will exhibit. The tick list is more to help you remember what your child was doing when, which I do understand - I wasn’t as good at recording this as I hoped to be and a tick list in a book that also informs you about the forthcoming developments is a good idea. Hopefully this would be used in this way and not cause any worry with parents. I actually think the validating of feelings and the explanation as to why your child might be cranky this week may outweigh the risk. I like too that it really gives the notion that ‘this moment too shall pass”. 


You can also sign up for a free ‘leap alarm’ via the Wonder Weeks Website and get direct emails around the time your own child is about to go through one of these developmental stages. 

Do remember though, that although these 10 fussy phases have been observed in many infants, each child is unique, so please do not place too much weight on what ‘should’ be happening on any particular day. 

At the time of writing, the lowest price for  The Wonder Weeks was from The Book Depository

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