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The wonder weeks require love and patience

This post is written in collaboration with Sovende Børn.

Moonboon works closely with the NGO, Sovende Børn (in English: Sleeping Children) and their team of specialists, to provide updated, relevant advice and guidance on children's and babies' sleep. Read more about Sovende Børn at the bottom of the post.

Your baby doesn't stay still for very long, but you have probably already noticed that. Most children start life with a roar that echoes through the family.

Wonder weeks.

We might as well say it as it is: It is tough being a parent to a baby experiencing its wonder weeks, but we promise it will only be temporary. Soon, your baby will leap to the next stage in his or her development and the challenges of today will be long forgotten tomorrow.

So, grab your calendar and let the countdown begin. In fact, for some children, the wonder weeks can be predicted by just a few days, so read on now to find out what is waiting ahead.

At the bottom of the post, we will share a useful tip on how to make the wonder weeks more manageable for you and your child.


Tears, screams and tired parents from early morning till late night: do you recognise this scenario? One minute you're carrying an inconsolable baby in your arms, but then, just like magic, the tears stop rolling and the screams turn into big, happy smiles.

What just happened there? 

Your baby's development is in full swing, and sometimes it is hard to decipher who this little person in the baby hammock might be. Monster or gentle baby? We are here to tell you that the monster is only visiting, because everything is a phase, and although a baby's development cannot be translated into a mindless formula, scientists have attempted to do it anyway. They refer to these phases as wonder weeks.


You've probably heard of them already, but what exactly are the wonder weeks?

The wonder weeks are periods when your baby undergoes particularly strong development.

You know how unsettling it can feel to learn new things, so just imagine what it must feel like for a little person who has no concept of the world yet. A person who literally cannot see the world clearly yet. It must be overwhelming. Maybe even a little scary?

So, when the world changes at a dramatic pace and all that feels safe suddenly feels new, your baby reacts and expresses itself with cries, screams and tiger roars. Most children cry more than usual during the wonder weeks and require more attention from you. 

But we'll say it again: It is just a phase and the tiger tears will soon dry.


Babies are often hugely unpredictable, but as with the wonder weeks, there are certain points in the first years of life when many children exhibit certain behaviours often linked to the child undergoing particularly intense developmental leaps.

The wonder weeks are one such kind of developmental leaps. Perhaps you have also heard of appetite loss or sleep regression? Some also call them breastfeeding leaps or sleep leaps. You can learn more about this further down in the article.


10 wonder weeks to experience – and you and baby will be out on the other side. At least on paper, where the wonder weeks are categorised by your baby's age in increments of weeks. You calculate from the due date, so let's say that if the baby was born during week 39+0, it will experience its 5-week wonder week when it is 6 weeks old. If the child was born later, the same leap will be taken earlier.

It's quite common for your baby to be more fidgety around the time of the wonder weeks, because there is a lot going on in that little head and body right now. Therefore, the days before and after may be characterised by extra fussiness and an increased need for closeness.

On average, the wonder weeks take between one and five weeks, depending on which leap your child is going through. Sometimes it will be over in a few days, while at other times you have to be patient for more than five weeks. Children experience different developmental stages differently. 

The wonder weeks are not an exact science. In fact, it is probably clear by now that nothing with regard to children can be predicted with a high degree of precision. Various studies suggest that the timing of the wonder weeks may not be as predictable as originally thought. And each child will have its own unique reaction to each developmental phase. Regardless, it can be useful to get an idea of what you might be experiencing and gain insight into what stages your child is experiencing in the rapid development of its first years of life. 


The first wonder week awaits after 5 weeks, and perhaps increased crying and sensitivity have already made you suspect that something is about to happen. The first wonder week brings about big changes in your child's view of the world, and, due to feeling overwhelmed by stimuli, they may have difficulty calming down.

Your baby needs more closeness now, and although it is hard with the tears and lack of sleep, luckily the first wonder week rarely lasts more than a few days. And what's the reward? This is the time when your baby learns how to smile.  


Let's move on to the second wonder week, which your baby experiences after 8 weeks. Again, it may be the crying and the lack of sleep that indicate the transition to a new leap, but you may also find that your child becomes more clingy than usual and may even be shy around strangers.

Your baby may become fidgety, and even the most food-loving baby may seem to lose his or her appetite or find it difficult to focus on eating during the second wonder week. You may find that your child's meals turn into an all-day buffet that he or she snacks on all day. If you are breastfeeding, it is a good idea to remember that this is not a sign of breastfeeding issues. 

During this wonder week, the child gets to know its own voice and new sounds emerge from its throat. A cry of joy is set free! In addition, the baby finds out that it has hands and feet that can be used to grab toys.


The wonder weeks occur more frequently, and if you feel exhausted after 12 weeks of intense developmental leaps, we completely understand. The third wonder week can take a toll on parents, because only you are good enough for the child. if you're breastfeeding, it may really be just mum and her boobs that have your baby's undivided attention. The child turns more and more towards the world, but at the same time cannot cope with all the new impressions. For this reason, family gatherings are probably not your baby's favourite activity at this stage. Dad and others must, therefore, stand by and support while this phase unfolds and runs its course. 

During the third wonder week, baby learns to hold its head up unassisted, and ouch ... Watch out! Your child has discovered faces and is eager to explore yours. Do you have long hair? If so, we'd suggest that you put it up in a bun or be prepared for the baby to grab and pull it with gusto ...


Let's start with a little warning: The fourth wonder week will likely put a strain on you, since this is the baby's longest leap that will begin now.

When the tears stop after a few weeks, and the exhaustion can feel overwhelming, you get to be rewarded: Now, your baby may be rolling around from back to belly, and a whole new world is waiting to be explored. Sounds, music and voices are also exciting, but your baby may find it difficult to regulate all the new things by itself and may need your help for calm breaks.

Your child has now really opened its eyes to the surrounding world and follows everything you do with great interest. If your child is at the table when you eat, you may find that he or she eagerly follows along as you eat, and may even try to grab the plate, the cutlery and the tablecloth to "taste" them. You might think it is time for your baby to eat at the table, but this is a normal developmental leap and your child will also put non-edible things in his or her mouth. 


Hang on! Your baby is almost halfway through the wonder weeks and maybe you have learned the signs by now? Crying, close contact, fluctuating appetite, the calm needed to eat, and the feeling of being uncomfortable around strangers keep emerging as your baby transitions to the next leap.

The fifth wonder week is exciting because, after 26 weeks, your baby understands how connections and distances work.

How wild! You can put something in the box here and the block fits right in the box there. Mummy! Daddy! Look!

That's great, sweetheart, you think to yourself, as you enjoy seeing how your child has learned to put things in boxes, jars and baskets.


The world needs to be explored! Everything must be examined! Nothing should be missed, and your baby is now beginning to understand that there is a difference between things. Peas and apples are not the same, but they can both be eaten and they taste great!

The sixth wonder week, which many call the 37-week leap, is exciting – for you, too! Your child is ready to discover the world and learn new things, so now you can explore the world together. Get out your books and start reading, because soon it will be time for your baby to utter his or her first words.


Planning is crucial in the modern world, and in fact this is exactly what baby learns at 46 weeks when the seventh wonder week begins.

Now, your child will begin to figure out how things fit together, and it becomes clear how that little brain scrambles to put the pieces together; to plan how things are connected, such as the two blocks in the box right there.


This is a tough wonder week, but are you noticing how your baby is quickly developing? Your baby will soon have a strong personality and display increased awareness and determination. From day to day, your child becomes more independent, and the eighth wonder week is yet another step on the way.

Your child's planning gene continues to develop after 55 weeks, and once your baby is over a year old, their capacity for understanding is suddenly quite different. You no longer have a baby, but a child who knows when it is time to eat lunch and what it means to go shopping or visit grandma.

Here they come... fits of frustration. Like pearls on a string, the little one has to find out where it stops, and others begin. Often the child's behaviour will be described as testing boundaries, although this is probably more because the child does not yet fully understand how the world and the family work and therefore finds it difficult to navigate in this new, expanding universe.

However, as with all the other developmental leaps, you now know that the little one can be tamed and the intense outbursts will disappear again.


You've been a parent for well over a year, so by now you probably consider yourself seasoned, don't you? For good reason, we'd say, because you've got things under control. Luckily, your baby knows that. Yet, your baby still needs to explore exactly how it is all connected to get a better understanding of the world around it. 

The ninth wonder week sees children throwing themselves on the floor in frustration, wanting to be part of the family democracy and making a big deal out of everything, ranging from the colour of the cup to whether or not to eat chocolate biscuits on the sofa. It can feel as if your child is resisting everything you say and trying to set their own agenda. That's actually true, but it's really just a necessary step in the child's development, helping the child to become more aware of the fact that he or she is an individual. The child begins to understand that he or she is part of the family and therefore has a say, and that others also have an opinion on how things should be run. 

This takes work, because now the child must be lovingly guided to understand the ins and outs of the family rules. Sometimes, your child's wishes match your rules, sometimes not, and this is the very balance that the child struggles to understand. However, you shouldn't get your hopes up that your child will be able to follow the rules without your loving help and guidance; it will take a few more years for this to happen.

So, put your arm around your little one and tell him or her – in a calm tone of voice – how things work at your house. Some things are right, some things are wrong, and that's the way the world is, and most importantly: Tell your child that you understand how difficult this might be to understand.


A medal wouldn't be completely out of place, because you have certainly earned it! The final wonder week awaits, but you'll get there. After 75 weeks, the child learns to understand that they are part of a culture and a family. Mum plays a role; dad plays another and grandmother plays hers.

And what about me, what role do I play? This is precisely the question your baby is seeking answers to during the final wonder week. Baby's conscience and self-confidence are now rapidly developing and your child is finding out that not all people are the same. This is an important lesson that will remain relevant throughout life.


Breastfeeding leaps, or what is often referred to as "appetite leaps", are periods when the breastfed baby may seem insatiable and seeks the breast to a much greater extent than usual.

These have been described as special periods when the baby has sought the breast more than usual to signal the breast to increase the production of milk.

However, there is no research to back this up, yet an incredible number of breastfeeding mums describe these very periods similarly. What’s going on? 

Your baby may seek the breast more than usual for many reasons, and the vast majority of reasons are not about the baby being hungry for milk at all. It is really about the contact, the sucking and the milk itself that provides reassurance, comfort, pain relief and a boost to the immune system.

Although we now live in a world where we can track and control most things, this is a point where we would do well to let go of the need for a detailed explanation. 

You can safely rely on the baby's signals to go to the breast and rest in the fact that the child knows what they need and why. However, the child does not yet know that they have been born into a hi-tech society, and they act on their instincts alone.

When the baby experiences situations that trigger an increased need for reassurance, the breast is an obvious choice for lactating babies, and many breastfeeding mums will therefore also find that all kinds of developmental leaps can cause an increased number of signals that the child wants to be breastfed. This is perfectly normal.

*Please note: An increased desire to breastfeed is NOT usually a sign of low milk supply, but in some situations it may be one of the signs, along with less wet and soiled nappies, general fussiness and low or changed weight gain. If you are concerned about your milk production, we recommend that you seek advice from a healthcare professional with special training in breastfeeding or a private breastfeeding counsellor.


Sleep leaps may not be what you have read most about in baby books. On the other hand, you may have read about "sleep regression", which is quite amply described.

Sleep regression describes periods in a child's life when, regardless of how they have been sleeping, they suddenly have an altered sleep pattern, often waking multiple times at night, they need more help to fall asleep and generally have difficulty sleeping. 

Despite the term, “sleep regression”, this is not about the child regressing in his or her sleep development; it is about the child going through stages of sleep development or another developmental phase that relates to sleep.

Examples of this include when the baby's sleep at around 4 months comes with the addition of two new sleep phases. At this stage, some parents will find that the child sleeps for several hours at a time during the night and can easily be helped to go back to sleep, but suddenly the child starts waking up and has a really hard time falling back asleep.

Another leap happens around 9-10 months and again around 18 months, when the child undergoes a huge development in his or her need for attachment. These periods are jointly referred to as the separation anxiety phase, because the child's reaction is often to need to sleep close to the parents, wake up often and seek a lot of help and reassurance from the parents.

At Sovende Børn, we prefer to call these periods "sleep PROgression" or sleep leaps, because it is a better description of what is actually happening.

The child's sleep has evolved or has undergone another development that has changed the sleep, and this is all part of the child's normal development towards sleeping through the night, without the need for help.

In response, we, the adults, may need to drink more coffee, go to bed earlier, even if we feel like watching Netflix, and remind ourselves that this, too, shall pass. 


Let the baby hammock help you if your child is experiencing the so-called wonder weeks.

The wonder weeks and other developmental leaps in a baby's life are inevitable, but should be embraced and met with love and closeness.

Despite the hard and difficult episodes unfolding during these leaps, it is no secret that a well-rested baby is easier to deal with during the wonder weeks than an exhausted baby. 

If your baby has difficulty napping or falling asleep in general, we encourage you to offer adequate sleep support. For example, try using a baby hammock, stretchy baby wrap or another carrying device, or rocking the baby in your arms or in a baby hammock, as the child often finds it easier to calm down through body contact and/or rocking movements. 

Why is a baby hammock useful?

A mother by the name of Caroline Jacobsen wrote the following on her blog:

"If you have a sensitive child or just a child who needs to be rocked to sleep, the baby hammock is a lifesaver. We didn't try the baby hammock until Vagn Oskar was over two months old, as I was genuinely sure it was some over-hyped, unnecessary gadget. I was wrong. I wish we'd had the baby hammock from the start. I bet it would have saved me all those laps around the dining table. The baby hammock had exactly the same effect as our rocking arms, an almost therapeutic and magical impact, which made Vagn Oskar calm down the minute we put him in it. We still use it occasionally for naps and it still works wonders. It is indispensable." 

Caroline explains very well how the baby hammock can help your child calm down and make them feel secure during the intense wonder weeks. 

Are you considering a baby hammock for your child?

At Moonboon, we have created a 

baby hammock featuring an elegant dark walnut cross bar, a mattress with 100% natural, hypoallergenic kapok fibre filling and fabric side padding in soft organic cotton.

At Moonboon, we have created a baby hammock featuring an elegant dark walnut cross bar, a mattress with 100% natural, hypoallergenic kapok fibre filling and fabric side padding in soft organic cotton. 

Our baby hammock has helped thousands of parents bring calm and better sleep to babies. Click on the button below to hear what other parents have to say about the Moonboon baby hammock.

Sovende Børn is an online universe for parents and professionals seeking guidance and information about babies and children's sleep and sleep issues. 

The purpose is to give parents and professionals the right tools to make informed choices that suit the individual child's sleep situation.  

On the website and social media outlets, you will find updated and reliable information about available research, as well as webinars, workshops, courses, etc. 



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