I was given the opportunity to review a great book recently. The Wonder Weeks, by Hetty van de Rijt, Ph.D. and Frans Plooij, Ph.D., is about the eight major developmental leaps your baby will take during their first year of life.
Some background on the book:
Research has shown that babies make 8 major, predictable, age-linked changes during their first year. Based on extensive scientific research, The Wonder Weeks describes in easy-to-understand terms the incredible developmental changes that all babies go through during the first 55 weeks of their lives - so , using it as a guide, parents can predict (within a week or two), what and when to expect the behavior that marks a new change in child development. It also gives new parents an explanation of the markers for fussy, clingy behavior and how to react, fun games and activities, a description of the baby’s perspective on the world around him/her and how parents can understand the changes s/he is going through.
Since my husband is the reader and researcher of the house, he is actually the "official" reviewer of this book. Here is what he had to say...
This book describes the different developmental milestones your baby will reach during the first year of life. Each chapter describes a developmental stage and how your baby is learning about the world around him. As each new leap forward is approaching, this book gives you insight into what your baby is experiencing, why they become fussy about it, and how you can help them through each phase and make the most of their newly developing skills.
One of the things I liked most about this book was that it helped to give an understanding as to why a baby could go from happy and content one day to fussy and agitated the next. When Rylie was a baby and would become fussy for days or weeks at a time, as new parents we would get worried (especially LeeAnn) because we didn’t know what the problem was and would assume the worst. If we had The Wonder Weeks as a resource, it may have relieved some of our stress.
Another thing this book helped me understand is how specific activities my babies are doing are indicators that they have reached a specific milestone. When we would take the kids for the well-baby checkups, there was always a list of specific activities that your baby should be doing at each age. A lot of the time, there were skills listed that seemed to be random or have no correlation to each other. The Wonder Weeks helps give some explanation about how these skills relate to one of the 8 developmental milestones described in the book. For example, you will understand the origin of skills such as passing a toy from one hand to the other, or banging two objects together.
The only negative thing I have to say is that when reading this book from cover to cover, it starts to seem repetitive. For example, the signs that your baby is reaching the next milestone are basically that they become fussy and needy for a while as they cope with the realization that the world around them is different than they had previously thought. And the advice about how to deal with this phase is usually the same or very similar. There are a lot of pages dedicated to the same information. However, this book is probably not meant to be read cover to cover. If you are reading it a chapter at a time, as each Wonder Week is occurring, it probably helps to cover those things again, even if they are pretty much the same as the last time.
Overall I would recommend this book to new parents. When you are sleep deprived, your baby is suddenly fussy and whiny for days at a time, and you feel like you have no clue what you are doing, anything that can help reassure you that your little guy is probably fine will go a long way to preserving your sanity.
The Wonder Weeks can be purchased from Amazon for $22.50. You can also sign up for "Leap Alarm" at The Wonder Weeks and receive an email every time your baby is making a leap in his mental development. The Wonder Weeks is also on Facebook and Twitter, so readers can interact directly with the authors and with each other.
And recently launched is The Wonder Weeks iPhone app. It is only $1.99 and available through the App Store on iTunes. Literally an at-a-glance version of the book, the app will keep parents informed of the mental leaps of their baby – no matter where they are. The Wonder Weeks iPhone app, originally created and released in The Netherlands, was an immediate success, and was recently named one of the three best apps in iPhone and More magazine in the health & wellness category.
~*~The Wonder Weeks is going to give TEN of my readers a free iPhone app!~*~
This one is easy! To enter, just follow The Wonder Weeks on Facebook or Twitter, or both. Leave a comment for each follow.
Giveaway will end on September 23rd at 9:00pm EST. The winners will be chosen by random.org. I will notify the winners by email within 24 hours, and they will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is received within that time frame, I will pick another winner. Please leave your email address or make sure it is in your profile so I will have a way to contact you. I will announce the winners once they have been confirmed.
Disclaimer: This opinion is my own (and Brian's). I received a copy of The Wonder Weeks at no cost for the purpose of this review, and I was not compensated in any other way. A big thank you to The Wonder Weeks for providing the giveaway prizes.