Book Review: The Wonder Weeks

The Wonder Weeks. How to Stimulate Your Baby's Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases Into Magical Leaps ForwardThe Wonder Weeks. How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases Into Magical Leaps Forward by Hetty van de Rijt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Highly recommended.

The bad:
* Overuse of quotes that provide no real substance or purpose
* Super repetitive – the book could have just said “and now your baby will be fussy” instead of going on for page after page about how “the baby is overwhelmed” and “the baby is scared” and “the baby’s world is changing” etc etc etc, each time trying to phrase it in a new way as if there’s an actual difference.

But, the good:
* It identifies the changes your baby’s brain is going through. It’s helpful to know what the baby is figuring out, but it’s also interesting in general to think about the ways we learn and change – things that seems obvious actually have to be learned.
* By giving an age range when these things happen, parents aren’t blindsided when the baby suddenly turns into satan. Or, as more often happens, you’ll read this AFTER the baby’s gone nuts, and will feel vindicated by the book’s explanation.
* Fun games are included, to help you stimulate the baby’s new skills.

It’s a good resource book to be picked up and skimmed through when your baby hits the next milestone. Just skip over the (way too many) quotes and the description of why the baby is fussy.

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Attention Non-Birthing Parents:

If your lovely, sleep-deprived ladyfriend mentions her dissatisfaction with the extra pudge around her midsection, which is a direct result of her spending the last 14 months of her life growing, producing, and sustaining your only begotten son, the correct response is NOT “you’re eating too much sugar.”  Oh, you assumed everyone already knew that?  Yeah, SO DID I.



He now sucks on his big toe like it’s an extra thumb. Remind me to bathe him more.

Back to Work

So, I’m working again.  I don’t get to hang out with the coolest little baby all day long anymore.  I keep wanting to write a post about it, but never get around to it, so instead here is the email I just sent to my friend who’s going back to work in a few weeks and wanted to know how bad it was going to be:

Back to work. It is not that bad. First! First, you will like it. The first few days will be fun! Exciting, a new challenge, nice to get out of the house and pee whenever you want to pee without having to prepare the baby first. You’ll use your brain, which is nice. All your coworkers will be excited to see you so you’ll get to talk about the baby a lot. Everyone will complement you on how great you look. It’s fantastic!

After the first few days, you settle in and it’s not new & exciting anymore, but still nice to get out of the house and to have a set schedule. Then, somewhere in the second week, you realize that actually? Work sucks, and your baby is awesome, and it is STUPID that you are at work, and why aren’t you staying home and being a happy, hippie earth mama with your incredible kid telling you great stories all day long? You are a BAD MOM and clearly you DON’T love your baby as much as you think you do, and your husband is probably JUDGING YOU.

You have to push past that point.

It gets better! That crap lasts another few weeks, and then…it just becomes what you do. You wake up, you go to work, it’s not the greatest but it’s not terrible, you remind yourself that you’re being a good female role model for the kid and you’re contributing both to society and to your family, and you enjoy the hell out of that baby whenever you’re home, and you remind yourself (remind your husband to remind you if you forget) that your husband admires and respects you for what you’re doing, and everything is going to be just fine.

The end. For now. I’m only 5 weeks back, so who knows what the future holds. But for now I’m doing okay.