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I’m a bit late to the party on this one, having had several people recommend it to me, but for those of you who are perhaps still in the dark or are new to parenting or have a sprog on the way, I would advise you download The Wonder Weeks app. It’s a condensed version of The Wonder Weeks book which is perhaps also worth buying for a more comprehensive overview of the WW concept but bitesize suits my attention span right now so app it is.It was actually a dad who suggested I seek some Wonder Weeks guidance last weekend and when a dad recommends something to you your ears prick up because, frankly, they don’t do much reading around the ‘baby’ subject, at least in my experience, so what reading they do do must be on the button for it to actually filter through and become recommendable. I figured his interest must also have stemmed from the need for answers in a dark moment – the same sort of dark moment I was probably harping on about when he suggested it.

That’s because the past few weeks have been tough – the offspring is coming up to 9 months and in addition to all the lergies doing the autumnal rounds and the clock change (don’t even get me started on the clock change), she’s acquiring new teeth on a weekly basis and then there’s the sleep. Yep, I’m still banging on about that ol’ gem but seriously, when you’re not getting enough of it that’s all you can think about. I imagine there are a lot of dads out there thinking exactly the same about something else. Or maybe not, maybe they’re too sleep-lagged for that too, which just goes to show how serious this deprivation is.

Our little darling has decided to wake pretty much every half an hour through the evening until we give in and just take it in turns to sit with her because as long as she can feel a bit of body heat she’ll sleep soundly. Savour this, they say. It’s over so quickly, they say. I’m sure they’re right but this came just as we’d finally clawed a couple of hours back for ourselves in the evening (for nothing more than eating, TV-watching and tooth-brushing mind), as it always does, and to have it taken away again makes you feel the loss even more.

If you Google ‘Why won’t my baby sleep?’ enough times you know when they’re going through a developmental stage but the Wonder Weeks app is quite wonderful indeed in that it tells you how long you have to weather the storm – the ‘storm’ being appropriately illustrated by a little lightening weather symbol. When I first logged on yesterday and put in Eliana’s date of birth it told me I was in the midst of such a storm, which is a relief because if this were supposed to be sunny times then my weather vane would have needed some severe readjustment, and to my delight, that there are only two days left. Two days! And for an added boost, I’ve also called in the cavalry in the form of one very devoted grandmother who is going to help me batten down the hatches until the tail end has passed.

What the storm means, in reality, apart from after-dark antics, is that Eliana is actually making an almighty developmental leap and this handy little app tells you what that leap is and the baby behaviour that is associated with it. So, for example, she’s currently learning how to categorise the world – to tell a cow from a dog (or at least she could if a cow trotted down the South Circular), to understand words, to play peek-a-boo, to clap and to crawl. Knowledge is power and all that so reading something that says your baby will ‘cry more, sleep less, have mood swings and cling to you more’ but with a caveat that says it’s all worth it in the long run because they’re going to emerge far cleverer and more entertaining, just about makes the whole ordeal tolerable. It also suggests ways to help your baby get the most out of whichever particular learning curve they’re on so you can get the most out of it.

What surprised me is that the week by week chart accurate to the day, at least for our baby but all babies are different so I’m sure for every advocate like me there’s another mother out there that says it’s a load of old twoddle but for a paltry £1.49 it might be the sanity saver you’re looking for. I remember the first unsettled night coming at the end of September, which feels an eternity ago now, on the back of me raving about how I’ve found my motherhood groove (note to self: never, ever rave about the good times) which was obviously during the last sunny period, and the chart tells me the shadow descended on September 27th. Correct! (Incidentally this was also the day we chose to get Eliana Christened; the day she decided to test the churches echo capacity with her impressive vocal range. If only we’d known we might have timed it better). It hopefully means that when they say there are two days left, there really are only two days left after which I’ll probably do a mini victory dance that I made it through, relatively unscathed bar some hefty eye bags and then flake out in front of a box set for the next few weeks before it all starts again.

MODEL MOTHER

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