So most new Mum’s these days would have heard of “The Wonder Weeks” book and app. If not, here is a brief description. Basically The Wonder Weeks explains the different growth spurts and new skills your child will learn at different stages of their development & splits them into what are known as “Leaps”. I haven’t read the book but do have the app. In the app it lists each leap, when your child is expected to go through the leap and what signs to look out for. It also explains the new “abilities” your child will have once the leap is over. Sounds like a load of BS right? Well I thought so too until Hunter started showing the same signs the app warned me about, at the same time he was expected to be going through the leap. Usually what occurs (depending on the leap) is your baby basically turns into an evil gremlin set out to destroy what little sanity you have left. At least that is what leap 4 has been like for me. I was pre-warned that Leap 4 is the worst and ironically enough it is also one of the longest. Leap 4 is known as “The leap of Events”, at the end of this leap your baby should be able to; hardly miss when grasping things, become very active, put Mum’s hand in their mouth, pull cloth away from own face, hit the table with a toy, search for mum and dad, respond to their name, grumble when impatient, push the breast (this part annoys me, it doesn’t say breast or bottle, just breast. Thanks for making me feel like an even bigger failure for not being able to breastfeed) once done, which roughly translates into; squeal like a monkey for the fun of it, drool enough to fill a bath tub, spit pureed food an impressive distance (usually directly into Mummy’s face), scratch, pinch, punch and pull your hair with incredible force. Why is it that apps and books can never actually be honest with you? Yes my baby is able to do all of these things now, which is brilliant as he is more capable now. However, why don’t they mention the added “abilities” that they gain that aren’t so amazing and mesmerizing? My beautiful, relaxed, happy, sleeps-through-the-night son has morphed into a little mini-hulk that thinks waking up 3 times a night with endless amounts of energy is funny (this is demonstrated by the cutest gummy smile you’ve ever seen). What are you immortal?! Seriously though, it is a tough gig being a baby. So many changes and no one to explain to you in your language why you feel so confused and can all of a sudden suck on your toes. My theory is that this is the reason why we don’t remember being babies. It would be cruel to have all of the memories of being so confused and tired all of the time. That and the teeth coming in (don’t even get me started on teething! That will be in another blog). Luckily for us, this leap is coming to an end with only 2 weeks to go until it is over. Already Hunter is starting to go back to his normal happy self (depending on the day) minus the frequent wake-ups during the night. The reason I am writing this blog is to let other Mummies know that they are not alone, it really is hell during the first few weeks of this leap (I am sure they call them Leaps because at times you really want to leap off a bridge to escape the crying) and it is okay (and sometimes necessary) to put bub in their cot where he/she is safe and walk into another room (where bubba can’t hear you) and scream into a pillow or cry. It really is a testing time of whether you are “cut out” to be a Mother. Regardless of how you feel, you are doing an AMAZING job and the best you can. I felt like an absolute failure after 2 weeks straight of Hunter crying for 2 hours at the same time every night with nothing that would console him, that was until my Mum and Dad babysat him for a few hours one night and rang me in a panic considering taking him to the hospital because nothing would stop him from crying. I asked whether he had a fever, was vomiting or had a rash and when she answered no I said “This is what he does EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.” Long story short they managed to rock him to sleep (thank God for Grandad – my Dad) about 15 mins after calling me (I should also mention that I was home an hour later, after being told he had gone to sleep, I didn’t just leave my little one to cry with his Grandparents). The next morning they both said to me something along the lines of “I can see why you’re struggling”. It was nice to know that how I was feeling was normal and that I wasn’t a terrible mother for becoming frustrated and miserable when hunter wouldn’t stop crying.
So to those Mum’s currently only at the beginning of Leap 4, it does get better. You will survive. Reach out if you need help. For those of you that have bub’s that haven’t started the leap yet, good luck and make sure you have plenty of coffee on hand – you’re going to need it.
Disclaimer: Not all babies react like this during the leaps, some of us are just lucky to experience the full brunt of it…
As always, feel free to message me on Facebook if you need support or advice.