Developmental baby leaps are what are as your baby matures and develops. When it appears and last? What are these signs? How to help your baby when he/she leaps? Learn more about baby leaps in the paragraphs that follow, along with advice on how to keep your baby calm as they occur.
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What Are Baby Leaps?
You may have been in the same situation as me, listening to others talking about “leaps” and nodding along, wondering what they are talking about. Do not worry, you will soon be an authority on them!
Simply put, a baby’s leaps are a period of rapid mental development that your baby goes through.
10 mental leaps will occur for infants during their first 20 months of life, according to The Wonder Weeks. Their corrected age, which is determined using their due date rather than their birth date, is related to these leaps.
When Are Baby Leaps?
Depending on their gestational age (the length of time since conception), these leaps happen at specific, predetermined times. Please remember to adjust these times if your baby was born early or late. To put it another way, if your child was born at 39 weeks, all of their leaps would have happened one week later.
In the first two years of life, there are ten leaps. They happen around five weeks, eight weeks, twelve weeks, 19 weeks, 26 weeks (six months), 30 weeks (eight months), 37 weeks (ten months), 46 weeks (one year), 55 weeks (fourteen months), 64 weeks (sixteen months), and 75 weeks (one and a half years).
How Long Do Baby Leaps Last?
For their caregivers, baby leaps can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, which can be frustrating and draining. But it’s also a time when a lot of new skills are learned, and the baby that emerges from it is frequently much calmer and happier.
How Do I Know When Baby Leaps are Coming?
Fortunately for us, baby leaps can usually be predicted. The creators of the best-selling book Wonder Weeks are credited with inventing this phrase. Both physically and mentally, the brain of your baby will develop exponentially, enabling rapid learning.”
Your baby is going through a lot at this time. Their brain is so preoccupied with picking up new knowledge, developing their minds, and learning new skills that it will inevitably have an impact on others.
Here are some signs that your baby might be in a leap:
- Increase in the ‘three C’s’: crying, clinginess, and crankiness
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Their mood is more unpredictable
- Existing skills improving
- Learning new skills
- Separation anxiety
- Change in their health
- Fussiness when feeding
Let’s examine what happens to your child during a developmental leap and further dissect some of these signs.
Change in Mood Or Behaviour
The Wonder Weeks talks about an increase in the “three C’s” during a leap. These are:
Baby leaps may be occurring in your baby if you notice a significant change in their temperament. At this very moment, their world is changing and their mind is performing extraordinary feats. For a young baby still figuring out how the world works, this is extremely intimidating.
What if you learned that you could fly or that aliens actually did live among us tomorrow? Your entire worldview and everything you previously believed to be true has been abruptly upended. You now need to learn how to navigate this “new world.”
When making baby leaps, your baby acts in this way. They must adapt to the new standard as their perspective on the world alters. It makes sense that your baby would want to feel safe and secure during this unsettling time, which is why they might act more clingy than usual.
These mood changes can be difficult on parents as well, even if you can understand why your baby is crying more, refusing to be put down, or just generally cranky. Therefore, if you need assistance, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Invite a friend or family member over to entertain your child while you take a break, or go outside for some fresh air. Numerous infants take pleasure in exploring new surroundings and people. It also helps you break up the day.
Also, keep in mind that this won’t last forever.
Your baby may suddenly seem less eager to feed during a leap, which is another thing you might notice. It’s fairly typical for babies to be fussy during feeds (whether through breastfeeding, bottles, or solids), but fortunately, it usually passes quickly.
You might notice that your baby:
- Wants to feed more frequently than before
- Isn’t interested in feeds at their usual feeding times
- Comes on and off the breast or bottle, or is easily distracted by what is going on around them
- Takes smaller quantities of milk, preferring to snack feed throughout the day
- Is fussy with solid food, even with foods they previously enjoyed
- Wants to snack more if they are on solids and eat smaller meals
Here are some tips to help your baby with their feeds during this time:
- Continue to feed your baby at regular times, consistently.
- If they are easily distracted, try feeding them in a calm environment.
- Make sure your child is still using plenty of soiled and wet diapers. Consult a medical expert to rule out dehydration if you notice a change in the frequency of wet diapers.
- Attempt eating with your solids-eating baby so they can imitate your eating.
- Make sure they have a favorite food on their plate or experiment with different ways to present the food, like drawing a picture with it or using an ice cube tray as a plate.
- If they are fussy, keep your cool; your baby can sense when you are upset or stressed. If they become upset, break and do something else before trying again later.
Change in Health
Even though it happens less frequently, some parents report seeing their baby’s health decline during baby leaps. The most common health issues experienced include:
- Ear infections
A doctor or other health care provider should be contacted if you notice a change in your baby’s health for more information. Here are some warning signs and symptoms to watch out for, along with advice on how to treat a sick baby, if you’re unsure whether your child is ill.
Learning New Skills
So far, it appears that many undesirable changes result from baby leaps. This one is a success, though! This is the benefit of overcoming all of those drawbacks. You get to witness your baby learning, developing, and changing before your eyes.
Here are some of the highlights you can expect:
- Learning to smile
- Holding their head upright
- Rolling over
- Looking for the main caregiver
- Holding toys
- Playing peek-a-boo
- Babbling and ‘chatting’ with you
- Starting to role-play
- Vocabulary improvements
Seeing your baby change and grow is a joy, and it definitely helps to bring the scales back into balance.
How Can You Help Your Baby During a Leap?
The most important thing you can do to support your child through baby leaps is to remember that they are only temporary. Your baby isn’t damaged; they’re just going through a lot right now.
In addition to reassuring your baby, maintaining as much consistency as you can with their routine and settling will help their sleep return to normal once they have passed the leap.
Here are our top tips for getting through your baby’s developmental leaps:
- Keep your cool and try to keep in mind that leaps are good because they indicate that your baby is learning and growing normally.
- As much as you can, try to maintain your regular schedule.
- Avoid creating new sleep habits that will be challenging for you to later wean your baby from.
- More skin-to-skin contact with your baby can really help.
- To keep your baby close by and free up your hands for other tasks, use a sling.
- Get assistance from your partner, family, or friends if you need a break.
How Does a Leap Affect My Baby’s Settling and Sleep?
You’re not only noticing a change in your happy baby’s personality and how miserable they’ve become all of a sudden; you’re also observing a change in how they settle and sleep. Don’t panic!
While your baby is making baby leaps, its brain is developing quickly, which may interfere with its sleep. This might look like this:
- refusing to take naps or go to bed. The need for a longer wind-down period before sleep may arise if your baby finds it difficult to relax.
- difficulties falling asleep. It’s possible that your baby will have trouble falling asleep on its own and will instead need your assistance or crave your presence in order to sleep.
- more frequent nighttime awakenings To practice new skills they are trying to master during this leap, your baby may wake up more frequently or for longer during the night.
- early morning awakening Make an effort to make your child’s room conducive to sleep and reinforce the notion that it is time to do so by keeping them in their bed for as long as they are content.
- wanting to eat more food overnight. This might be the result of your infant not eating well during the day or because they are growing more mobile and expending more energy.
- Having shorter naps. During this time, catnaps may be frequent because it may be more difficult for babies to connect their sleep cycles.
- more worn out throughout the day. Your baby may appear to struggle with its usual awake times due to increased mental stimulation. While they are in a leap, you might need to shorten their awake times.
The sleep pattern of your baby should return to normal once they have passed the baby’s leaps. Often, these are only temporary changes.
Having said that, it is quite simple for new sleeping habits to emerge during this period. For instance, if your baby is having trouble falling asleep, you might try feeding, rocking, or patting them to sleep. When the leap is over, your baby won’t automatically settle back to sleep; instead, they will still need you to do so. This is a result of the patting, rocking, or feeding becoming their new sleep association.
Baby leaps are a period of rapid mental development that your baby goes through. They happen around every stage of a baby’s growth. But, parents don’t worry, they just last few days. You should pay attention to your baby’s condition and help them as a guide above all.
FAQ About Bay Leaps
What’s the Difference Between Growth Spurts and Leaps?
The growth spurts, or “leaps,” as they are sometimes called, involve both body and brain growth and can be very demanding on both physical and emotional resources. We’ll use the terms “leap” and “growth spurt” interchangeably throughout this article to describe how the mind and brain develop.
Are There Any Ways to Tell If It’s a Leap?
In addition to timing, your baby will exhibit a few physical indicators before taking a leap. They’ll probably be angrier, clingier, and tearful than usual. They may also overfeed or lose their appetite, resist being put down, and appear content only when being held.”
They have learned to trust you and find solace in your proximity, so they do this when they are uneasy. They will almost certainly require more love and care during these leaps, regardless of any other symptoms they display.