Leap 1: the first door to a new world

Suddenly the time had come: leap 1 has begun! Around week 4 I noticed Alina was behaving differently than we were used to. Since she was born we had never really heard her cry, it was always a bit of whining when she was hungry. But since week 4 the crying really started. Alina wanted to be with mom more, didn’t like to be alone in her crib or bouncer and the nights were not a gift for mom either. She slept poorly and asked for the breast a lot. Not to drink but rather as a safe comfort.

Inconsolable in the fussy phase

The pussy phase, which fortunately only lasted for one week for us, was tough for me as a mother. I am breastfeeding and therefore I am also the one who has to get up at night to feed Alina. During the fussy phase, I felt uncertain as a parent sometimes. Especially in the evening when she had her cluster moment, which was often 2 hours in a row that she only wanted to lie with me and preferred to be on the breast. I found it very tiring, I couldn’t do anything but sit or lie with her while there was a huge pile of laundry I had to do or the house was a mess. I lost hope when Alina kept crying even though I had changed her diaper, cuddled or fed her. Nothing seemed to comfort her. What made my girl so restless and sad? I felt like a failure as a mom because I couldn’t sense what exactly was going on with her.

Reading is learning during leap 1

I was a first time mom, so the change in Alina’s behavior made me feel insecure and worried. So I shared my concerns with my friends and family and they advised me to read The Wonder Weeks book. I had never heard of leaps before, so as a new mom I felt curious. And after all, you can never be too prepared. Sure enough, I started reading and I immediately understood why Alina was behaving differently. How lucky I was too have bought the book. The information I read reassured me and gave me a clear picture of what Alina’s development will look like approximately. Because despite the very similar lines in development of babies, it also remains something unique for each baby.

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“What an active and attentive baby”

Leap 1 is about the world of sensations and Alina seems to be a sensitive baby who already perceives a lot. From touches, movements and sounds to the air in her intestines, nothing passed her by. The fussy phase lasted a week and suddenly the door to a new world opened, for Alina, but also for mom and dad. Alina was clearly more interested in her surroundings: she kept her attention longer on objects that glowed or contained many contrasts. 

But what she loved most was listening to voices and studying faces. We started showing and reading books that contained many contrasts. Her favorite book was about a cat, because that’s when her cries of pleasure emerged for the first time.

Overstimulation

By trying a lot and offering her new stimuli, we have learned what makes her happy, what makes her calm, but also what she finds annoying. Because Alina observed intensely, it was also important to stop offering in a timely manner and to give her some rest. Fortunately, she was able to make it clear to us what she liked and what she didn’t like. Moreover, all these new stimuli make a baby very tired and I think every mother and father can agree that a (too) tired baby can be a difficult thing.

We are ready for the next leap!

Thanks to the leap calendar, I can estimate better when Alina will start her next leap. I can only recommend that, as a parent, you read up on the development of the leaps and the associated pussy phase.

Mika, mother of Alina.

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