By Hetty van de Rijt and Frans X. Plooij
For the past 35 years Drs. Rijt and Plooij, two researchers in the Netherlands, have observed and interviewed mothers and caretakers of infants regarding their daily activities. Over time, they began to note that there were certain periods when infants were fussier than others.
Even though research has shown that babies are making leaps forward in their mental development during these fussy periods, parents cannot help but be frustrated. Rijt and Plooij argue that if parents know the developmental leaps forward that the baby is making during the first 20 months, they will know the right kind of help and environment to provide at the right time.
Wonder Weeks is divided into six sections: “This Week’s Fussy Signs” provides clues and support that baby might be making a leap forward; “Signs My Baby Is Growing Again” is a diary-style section where you can record signs that your baby is growing; “The Magical Leap Forward” describes the skills and abilities baby makes as she develops; “How My Baby Explores the New World” offers a list of skills most babies have after the first 20 months; “What You Can Do to Help” suggests ideas for games, activities and toys as you watch your baby leap forward; and finally, “After the Leap” helps parents look forward to their baby growing up. The book is easy to handle, and to jump ahead and read the sections as you please. The weekly reports of 15 mothers of eights girls and seven boys taken from the Rijt and Plooij’s research show new parents that they are not alone.
All in all, Wonder Weeks can offer support, confidence and understanding for first-time parents or even veteran parents who would like a fresh take as they help a new infant navigate his or her developmental stages.
Reviewed by Lisa Newman
These reviews are published courtesy of Lemuria Blog, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, Mississippi, www.lemuriabooks.com or blog.lemuriabooks.com. All books featured in this edition of BookShelf are available at Lemuria Books.