The Wonder Weeks

The Wonder Weeks : How to Stimulate Your Baby's Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward

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Extended, new Edition of Worldwide Bestseller, "The Wonder Weeks," Now Available. Have you ever wondered what's going on in your baby's head? Why is a normally well-tempered baby suddenly difficult and demanding? And then, suddenly, he is doing things he could not do the day before. Research has shown that babies make 10 major, predictable, age-linked changes - or leaps - during their first 20 months of their lives. During this time, your baby will learn more than in any other year. With each leap comes a drastic change in your baby's mental development, which affects not only his mood, but also his health, intelligence, sleeping patterns and the 'three C's' (crying, clinging and crankiness). "The Wonder Weeks" Explained: following each leap comes the 'wonder weeks,' in which the baby has new and expanded brain capacity and is able to learn to do new things. Each leap sets the stage for subsequent development of new skills. The skills that your baby develops first, depend on the baby's preferences, experimentation and physical development. For example, the ability to perceive spatial relationships (about 26 weeks) is a necessary precondition for 'crawling inside or under things,' but this skill normally appears anywhere from 6 to 11 months. As amazing as each new ability is, it is also scary for the baby. Suddenly, he can think, feel, notice and understand what is happening around him in a new way. The perception of sensations does not change with increasing age, but becomes subservient to the new, higher levels of perception that are emerging one after the other in the hierarchy and that are superposed onto the already existing, lower levels of perception. These changes in thinking can show up in changes in what he can do and how he behaves. That is why, before he is able to explore his new ability, he often cries more, is more clingy and crankier. These changes can also manifest as poor sleep, lack of appetite and general fussiness - and exhausted parents. Contents of "The Wonder Weeks": The book "The Wonder Weeks," by Dutch authors Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij spells out the phenomenon happening inside your baby's brain with detailed information about each leap. Based on 35 years of extensive research, "The Wonder Weeks" describes in easy to understand terms the incredible developmental changes that all babies go through during their first 20 months of life. In the years since the publication of the first edition, Dr. Plooij continued to research the developmental leaps in infants together with numerous national and international experts. The results are found in this extended edition of "The Wonder Weeks," which explores the ninth and tenth leap into toddlerhood. These are key leaps to form the basis of a well-educated child in cleverness and in well-raised person. Using this book as a guide, parents can be better prepared - often within a week or two - when to expect the behavior (the three C's: Crying, Clinging, and Cranky) that marks a new change in their baby's development. "The Wonder Weeks" provides: a phase-by-phase guide to baby's behavior; an explanation of the markers for the 'three C's' and how to react; fun games and gentle activities parents can do with their baby to guide them through their 'leap'; and, a description of the baby's perspective on the world around him and how it can help parents understand the changes he's going through. Availability: "The Wonder Weeks," which has been an international bestseller for years selling more than 1 million copies worldwide in 12 languages, is more readily available at the website thewonderweeks. There is also an iPhone/iPad app more

Product details

  • Paperback | 510 pages
  • 172 x 245 x 27mm | 849.99g
  • Kiddy World Promotions B.V.
  • Gelderland, Netherlands
  • English
  • 9079208043
  • 9789079208043
  • 1,163

Table of contents

About this Book, xi; Introduction, 1; Leap Alarm, 8; Chapter 1: Growing Up: How Your Baby Does It, 9; Chapter 2: Newborn: Welcome to the World, 21; Chapter 3: Wonder Week 5: The World of Changing Sensations, 41; Chapter 4: Wonder Week 8: The World of Patterns, 61; Chapter 5: Wonder Week 12: The World of Smooth Transitions, 91; Chapter 6: Wonder Week 19: The World of Events, 119; Chapter 7: Wonder Week 26: The World of Relationships, 159; Chapter 8: Wonder Week 37: The World of Categories, 209; Chapter 9: Wonder Week 46: The World of Sequences, 245; Chapter 10: Wonder Week 55: The World of Programs, 285; Chapter 11: Wonder Week 64: The World of Principles, 321; Chapter 12: Wonder Week 75: The World of Systems, 387; Postscript: Countless Wonders, 461; Further Reading, 465; Resources, 469; Index, 473; Internet, Languages, more

Review quote

"This is a very practical and entertaining window into the baby's first year and a half. van de Rijt and Plooij have observed and found the vulnerable times in an infant's development that I independently came to in my book Touchpoints (Perseus). The authors' observations and practical suggestions are wonderful." (T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., professor emeritus, Harvard Medical School). ---"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 behavior, 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). ---"van de Rijt and Plooij's work on infant development has enormous value for clinical use and scientific application. Not only have they explained the periods of puzzling, difficult behavior in infancy which so worry parents, they have also shown how these behaviors mark developmental leaps and have described the stages in the infant's understanding. Together, this gives parents and professionals soundly based insight into babies' developing minds. What's more, van de Rijt and Plooij have described the play and communication that work best with babies at different ages and thus helped parents understand and connect sensitively with their babies. This parent-child connection is the major prerequisite for the development of secure, well-adjusted children. 'The Wonder Weeks' is essential reading for everyone who works with infants: pediatricians, social workers, psychologists, and, of course, parents." (John Richer, Ph.D., Dip. Clin. Psychol., consultant clinical psychologist and Head of Pediatric Psychology, Department of Pediatrics, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England). ---"van de Rijt and Plooij will help you see the world the way an infant sees it. As the child grows, displays of emotion (such as crying) tell us the child is summoning reserves of energy and is calling out for help in finding new ways to perceive the changing world. Because van de Rijt and Plooij have discovered predictable stages in the widening of the infant's perceptions and skills, they can enable you, with their superb examples, to recognize the onset of these stressful episodes and to join your child in coping with them. So rich, indeed, are the implications of finding new perceptions and new skills in the midst of stress that whether or not you are a parent, it can never be too early or too late to profit from this book." (Philip J. Runkel, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology and education, University of Oregon). ---"'Terrible Twos' a Misnomer, According to Research; Extended Edition of International Bestseller Released, Helps Parents Weather Emotional Storms. Research shows that the so-called 'terrible twos' don't need to exist when it comes to child development. In fact, the behavior often associated with this stage - tantrums, moodiness, nagging and an affinity for the word 'no' - begins shortly after the first birthday. For parents, it is important to jump into action at this point so they can prevent the 'two's' from becoming terrible and turn them into something tremendous. A child doesn't need to act so 'terrible,' as long as you know what to do and, more important, why he is acting this way. By understanding these leaps you can make the transition into toddlerhood, and the subsequent stages including the 'terrible two's,' into the 'tremendous two's' and beyond. 'Tremendous,' says Dr. Plooij, 'because it is with these leaps that a huge part of socialization is set for life. And tremendous: because good values and norms start now. If you invest in your toddler in this time, it will pay off for lifetime and especially in puberty." (From the SFGate, home of the San Francisco Chronicle). "For those of us who love 'The Wonder Weeks' but wish it wasn't just about babies, your wish is granted. They've just released a new, expanded edition that goes up to 20 months and has more ideas about things you can do during the wonder week leaps to make the leaps more entertaining for you and, presumably, your baby. US$25 at Amazon, which makes it the perfect baby shower or new-parent or gift-giving-holiday-at-the-end-of-the-calendar-year gift." ( ---"Great News! 'The Wonder Weeks' have come out with their new, expanded edition up to 20 months old. I love this book, and highly recommend it for some fascinating reading on what is really happening in your little one's development. (Best Milk Bistro, via Facebook). ---" 'The Wonder Weeks' - a look at cognitive growth in the first year - why might the baby be fussy, and what can parents do." (via Carolyn Hax, The Washington Post Writers' Group, Facebook followers). ---" 'The Wonder Weeks' is a great book for new parents! It takes you step by step through the first two years of life and helps explain out those mysterious times in your child's life where you think your fabulously well behaved child has suddenly become possessed... I can't wait to get my hands on an updated copy of this book, because I think the insights will be invaluable in terms of being prepared and navigating the independence stage in a positive way!" (Heather, ---"We've found 'THE' must have gift for all parent's to be! 'The Wonder Weeks - How to stimulate your baby's mental development and help them turn their 10 predictable, great, fussy phases into magical leaps forward'!" (WHO Adelaide Chummy Mummy' and 'Tot Shop'). ---"Everything I know about when and what the actual developmental spurts are I learned from the book 'The Wonder Weeks.' One of the things I love about this book is that they don't tell you what to do, aside from suggesting games to play. They just tell you what's going on. I have a definite bias against books that tell you how to raise your kids, and I love that this book is just a roadmap of what's going on when." ( ---"If you want to be really prepared for the 'regressions,' I'd say borrow or buy 'the Wonder Weeks' book, read it, and pay attention to the signals your baby is giving you. Once you know what's going on, it becomes fasciating and annoying instead of worrisome and torturous." ( ---"You all know of my love for the book 'The Wonder Weeks.' I love it because it explains what developmental leaps happen when with your child, up through the first 15 months or so, so you know why your happy or sleeping baby is suddenly wigging out and/or not sleeping. By doing that, it revealed exactly why there's a hideous 4-month sleep regression as well as an equally-if-not-more-hideous 8-9-month sleep regression. It's a book that tells you what's going on, not what you're supposed to do. I can't count the number of times people have said to me, 'It let me have patience with my baby and realize I wasn't doing anything wrong.' Score." ( ---"So last week I was on Twitter and discovered that 'The Wonder Weeks' has a Twitter feed ( iPhone app. Which I think is just brilliant. Also, the iPhone app is only US$2 (yes, that's two dollars). Even more brilliant." ( ---"Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love this book, 'The Wonder Weeks,' to describe the age-linked changes (leaps) in development in a baby's first 14 mos. If you don't have this book, and you have a baby, GET IT! Fascinating read. And now they are here on FB and Twitter @thewonderweeks, they also have an iPhone App." (Stacy Rodes Meyers, Founder, ---"Ask Moxie is a HUGE proponent of your book, that's how most people probably learned of it. At least I did, almost 3 years ago and waited for it to be back in print. I LOVE it!" (Stacy Rodes Meyers, Founder, ---"I highly recommend the book, 'The Wonder Weeks' as they all really do go through extra clingy phases when going through developmental changes. If I recall, around now give or take a couple weeks they go through a stage of separation anxiety as developmentally they've realized that you're capable of moving away from them and that the distance between you is out of their control. I'd love to go into it more but I'm sneaking in some online time while feeding the monkey in between packing for holidays!" (Petra, Boston, via ---"I've got 'The Wonder Weeks' and refer to it constantly. It's not just the odd day though, or even the odd group of days, its been every single day since he was born, he will go to other people once he knows them, but I still have to be in eye sight, and the sleeping thing is crazy, I can't even nurse him off to sleep and then sneak out off the room, its like he feels the pressure change on the mattress and instantly wakes." (Moderator, ---"Thanks so much! I LOVE the book!!!" (AnnMarie, Kentucky). ---"I LOVE your book and cannot stop suggesting it to friends!" (Janelle, California). ---"I have been using the info in this book since I first got some notes on the Dutch version (in English) WAAAAY back more than a decade ago. I still give this book as an essential book for new parents. It makes so much just plain sense, when otherwise, it seems random!" (Heather, Delaware). ---"This book is 'exactly' what every new parent wants: a guide that tells exactly why your baby is fine one week and freaking out the next. We all know about the physical growth spurts at 3 and 6 weeks and then 3 and 6 months, but there isn't anything else that tells you when developmental spurts are happening. Until now. As soon as I got this book, I went back and looked in my journal from when my son was a baby, and all his fussy weeks matched up with the ones in the book! If I'd had this book at the time, it would have been so much easier just to roll with it and not wonder what was 'wrong'." (IME). ---"The best thing about this book is that it doesn't tell you how to be a perfect parent, or give you some focacta plan you have to follow exactly to make your baby turn out the right way. Instead it just tells you why your baby is doing what s/he is doing, so you can have patience and not worry that there's something wrong with either you as a parent or your child." ---"I just ordered two more to give to new parents I know. This is my one constant shower gift. I can't believe this book hasn't gotten more press than it has, because it would really be a lifesaver for any parent with a baby under the age of 1." ( ---"I recently purchased 'The Wonder Weeks' to try to help understand why my 4 month old daughter was going through a horrible sleep regression. I found the book to be reassuring - knowing that some things are phases rather than the 'new her'. As expected, she went back to being more predictable after the new developments. It's helpful to know when the next developmental stage is coming and when it will be over." (Sarah Beck). ---"The woman who reviewed this book for the Library Journal has clearly never had an infant who acts fine one week and then crazy the next. If she had, she'd love this book as much as I did, and the 3 friends I've given this book as gifts too did. The reason the authors don't refer to other research studies is that they're the only ones who've specifically been studying this, and they use plenty of examples from their own research. Yes, it's true that it's not written in a really scientific way, but is that what you want to read when you're just trying to figure out why your child stopped sleeping and eating all of a sudden? Not me. I'd rather know what developmental leap is coming up so I know how long the cranky phase will last and what I can do to help my child through it. This book is so easily worth the money and time spent reading it, just because it gives you the patience to be able to wait out difficult periods when you know why they're happening and when they'll stop. No things you should and shouldn't do, just a sort of reference manual of what's going on and why. Buy the book and your life with your infant through 12-month-old will improve immensely." ---"I bought this book when my first baby was 8 weeks old and right in the middle of an extremely fussy stage. For a whole week he was crying everyday, had to be held, restless, not sleeping well and not eating well. After talking with his pediatrician who told me he's just fussy I wanted more answers. I searched online "very fussy 8 week old baby" and this book came up. I read lots of reviews and decided to buy it. Lots of the reviews say the book is repetitive. I loved the book. In my opinion when you are as sleep deprived as new parents are you forget things and the reminders - aka repetition - in each chapter from the chapters before are very helpful to me. I thought this book was excellent. It helped me realize that my baby was going through a wonderful transition and a special milestone and I was able to embrace it with confidence that there was nothing wrong with him or me. I highly recommend this book, it WILL give you a piece of mind and turn something scary and frustrating into something to celebrate." ---"My son is famous among parents of similar-age babies we know for being the most cheerful, non-fussy baby there ever was. But even he gets more Challenging during the wonder weeks. We're going through the week 46 one now (which actually starts earlier than that and can last several weeks) and it's the worst one yet. He normally falls asleep within 5 minutes with no fuss and now it takes him 30 minutes to 2 hours to fall asleep. And no, not because he's not tired. He's totally tired, in fact he's overtired due to his sleep troubles. He's regressed in some of his physical abilities too, wanting to just lay around and chew on things a lot of times. He's moody. All of this would have concerned me so much I'd have gone to the doctor if I didn't have this book a friend loaned me. I didn't read every word cover to cover, like others I think this book could be half the size, but it's been so helpful even just to know there's nothing wrong that I would encourage parents-to-be to get this book and be aware of what to expect before the baby arrives. If we'd had this book from the start we would not have been going so crazy during those first couple cognitive spurts when things went haywire." (Lulu McBride). ---"Every new parent should read this book. It gives remarkable insight on what is happening with your baby. My son has reached every 'wonder week' so far and exhibited the behaviors and emotions listed in this book. It has really helped save my sanity just knowing what is happening with him and why he suddenly cries more often, doesn't sleep through the night anymore, etc. Also, knowing it is just temporary is great. I have been able to relax and really enjoy watching the developmental progress going on through the changes in his behavior." (C. Breed). ---"Really want an iphone now so I can get the @TheWonderWeeks app. So much to learn!" (@dimplescfg). ---"Welcome to Twitter, @thewonderweeks! Their book saved our sanity during C's first year." (@krapsnart). ---"@thewonderweeks- these people saved my sanity my entire first year of being a parent!" (@ChristinaRTS)."show more

About Hetty van de Rijt

Born in 1944, Hetty van de Rijt studied Educational Psychology at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands and following graduation she worked in an institute for the mentally handicapped. From 1971 to 1973, with her husband Frans Plooij, she studied infant development in free-living chimpanzees with Dr. Jane Goodall in the Gombe National Park, Tanzania, East Africa. From 1973 to 1976, she studied with Prof. Robert Hinde in the Medical Research Council unit on the Development and Integration of Behaviour. In 1976 her daughter Xaviera was born. She obtained her Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, England in 1982. As a researcher at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands from 1986 to 1990, she studied the development of human babies in their home environment through direct observations, filming, and in-depth interviews with their parents. As lead author with her husband as co-author, she wrote the best-selling parenting book The Wonder Weeks, which has been published in twelve languages, from the USA to Japan. She designed a parental support and education program called "Leaping hurdles," based on the Wonder Weeks and published a scientific evaluation study to report on the results of this program. She died far too young at the age of 59. --- Born in 1946, Frans X. Plooij studied in the Netherlands with Adriaan Kortlandt, University of Amsterdam, with Hein Oomen, University of Nijmegen, and with Gerard Baerends, University of Groningen, where he received his Ph.D. in 1980. In 1971-73, he and his wife Hetty van de Rijt worked with Jane Goodall in the Gombe National Park, Tanzania, East-Africa, on infant development in free-living chimpanzees. In 1973-76 he worked with Robert Hinde in the Medical Research Council unit on the Development and Integration of Behaviour, University Sub-department of Animal Behaviour in Madingley, Cambridge, England; in 1976-80 at the department of Developmental Psychology, University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands; and from 1981 to 1993 as head of the department of Research and Development at the institute for Child Studies of the City of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where, among other things, he participated in European Union SOCRATES-LINGUA projects concerning the implementation of an innovative second- and foreign-language teaching method for preschool children. From 1993 to 1998, he was a professor at the Department of Developmental and Experimental Clinical Psychology, University of Groningen. Currently, Dr. Plooij is president of the International Research-institute on Infant Studies (IRIS) at Arnhem, the Netherlands, initiator of the European project on "the intercultural study of infantile regression periods" (ISIRP), and director of Kiddy World Promotions B.V., a consulting firm that serves companies producing products related to children, such as toys. Dr. Plooij was Vice-president for Information of the International Society for Human Ethology from 1989-1993, Vice-president of the Institut Europeen pour le Development de tous les Enfants (IEDPE), served on the editorial board of the journal "Ethology and Sociobiology," and is member of the panel of assessors of the Journal of Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. He is a full member of several international, scientific societies in the domains of child development and behavioural biology, and of the New York Academy of Sciences. In addition to numerous scientific publications, Dr. Plooij has written several bestselling parenting more

Rating details

1,821 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
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4 38% (690)
3 20% (367)
2 7% (121)
1 2% (31)

Our customer reviews

I wish I had been given this book prior to the birth of my baby. I have found it invaluable and think it probably saved my sanity!! The Wonder Weeks provides an explanation for why babies go through periods in which they are more difficult and how to manage this. It also provides suggestions for different games your baby will be interested in after their wonder week!!!show more
by Victoria Gibson
It's not exactly a small step for parent when the baby is going through a mental leap. I really like this book and believe it to be an essential book for any parent who believes in attachment parenting. I only wish I had read this book during pregnancy because I had a very difficult first 3 months as my newborn daughter was going through some major mental developments. Now that she's nearly 6 months, I better understand her and feel less frustrated when she is going through a fussy period. I used to think those fussy periods are because I am simply an unlucky parent with a high-need baby. But it was reassuring to read this book because it taught me my baby is quite healthy and going through her transitions normally! I enjoyed reading the comments from other parents because it normalized my feelings and thoughts. I highly recommend this book to any first-time parent because it helps remove any feelings of inadequacy and it's very exciting to read about the mental growth spurts your little one is so busy more
by Heba El-Hakim
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