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Each Month Derby Mums will bring you an app that has been recommended as quite literally ‘aw -you’ve got to try this!‘.

Some will be free, some will be paid apps, but hopefully they will all prove useful to at least some of you and will help to:

* make life easier

* answer questions you may have about parenting / feeding / tracking your child’s development

* entertain your little ones

* help you to find local activities, classes and events around you for the whole family

 

 

This month – The Wonder Weeks

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The Wonder Weeks is now in an iPhone app and Android app.

Picking up on the international bestselling book, The Wonder Weeks, and more than 35 years of international scientific research, this app will keep you informed about the (mental) leaps and bounds of your baby — any time of day or night. This app won prizes in several countries as best parenting app! It will also help keep you just a bit more sane!

What is a mental leap?

A leap in the mental development of your baby means that suddenly there are many changes in his head. Suddenly, his brain perceives things it wasn’t capable of perceiving before. This change is so great that his entire world suddenly looks different. These leaps can be at very different times from physical milestones, such as sitting up, smiling and following objects with their eyes –  quite often a leap falls just before a milestone is reached, as the baby is preparing to try something new, or just afterwards, as they are processing what is going on in the world around them and with their own bodies. These mental leaps can also be described as ‘wonder weeks’ – maybe because during these times, you wonder what on earth is happening to your lovely little one!

Think about major changes in your own life where everything seems to be different – new job, new house, moving country, the start or end of a relationship, having to learn a new skill etc. It’s confusing, hard work and exhausting – your baby feels the same!

Phases in a mental leap

d_voetbalJust as your baby has processed the previous mental leap and has mastered a number of new skills, the next leap announces itself! The life of your baby will change drastically yet again. This process keeps repeating itself during the first two years. Especially in the first three months, when leaps follow one another in rapid sequence.

You can well understand that your baby has not had time to fully master all skills the previous leap made feasible before the next leap begins. That does not matter, because he will keep going, mastering skills made possible by previous leaps while going through the next stages of development. Mastering all the skills made possible by one leap extends beyond several additional leaps.

These can be difficult and unsettling periods for your baby and 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.

Babies all undergo these fussy phases at around the same ages. During the first 20 months of a baby’s life, there are ten developmental leaps with their corresponding clingy periods at onset. The clingy periods come at 5, 8, 12, 19, 26, 37, 46, 55, 64 and 75 weeks. The onsets may vary by a week or two, but you can be sure of their occurrence.

w_huilenAll babies experience clingy periods when big changes in their development occur. Usually calm, easygoing babies will react to these changes just as much as difficult, temperamental babies do. But not surprisingly, temperamental babies will have more difficulty in dealing with them than their calmer counterparts. Mothers of “difficult” babies will also have a harder time as their babies already require more attention and will demand even more when they have to cope with these big changes. These babies will have the greatest need for mommy, the most conflict with their mothers, and the largest appetite for learning.

 

The app

In a nutshell, you enter your child’s due date and the app will show you when they have a leap coming up. This can prepare you for any unsettled behaviour they may display and also help you to help them cope with these new phases in their life. The app offers tips how you can help your baby during leaps, as well as telling you what behaviours and skills you might start to see.

It gives a little rhyme and reason to what can already be a bewildering and exhausting time in both your and your baby’s lives!

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click to enlarge

Why the app works

Basically The Wonder Weeks app worked for us is because it gave us a ‘why’. Why our baby might be unsettled and displaying the 3 Cs – clinginess, crankiness and crying.

By referring to the app regularly, we could see where LMDM (Little Miss Derby Mums) was in her development, whether she was approaching a leap (watch out!!), what behaviour we could expect and what new skills she was acquiring and processing. In the middle of a leap, we could count down until the end and when we would see the ‘sunshine’ (relatively plain sailing) period again. It also gave us tips how to help her through these leaps – it seems silly to have to be reminded to cuddle and comfort your child, but sometimes it’s hard to think of this when they’re constantly screaming / not sleeping and generally being quite hard work!

It was fascinating and fun to read about the new skills she would start to develop next and to match what we were seeing with the previous leaps’ abilities, “Oh yeah, she does that now!”

For us, definitely £1.25 well spent!

 

Think of the app as a portable, at-a-glance version of the leap chart in The Wonder Weeks book (find more info here).

Where the book describes in-depth and easy-to-understand terms the incredible developmental changes that all babies go through, the app is the perfect companion element to track your baby’s mental development.

 

android version £1.25

iOS version £1.49

 Awards-The-Wonder-Weeks

This app has won many awards across the parenting and medical world and was definitely worth its weight in gold for us. For more in depth tracking and information on The Wonder Weeks, the book will guide you through your baby’s development in a lot more detail, but this app had just the right amount of insight, reassurance and information for us, so we didn’t feel the need to buy the book.

 

 

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