The Wonder Weeks Book Summary - The Wonder Weeks Book explained in key points
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The Wonder Weeks summary

Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij

How to Stimulate the Most Important Developmental Weeks in Your Baby’s First 20 Months and Turn these 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward

Brief summary

The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij is a guide for parents on their baby's mental development phases, including signs of progress and regression. It helps parents understand and support their baby's growth during the first 20 months of life.

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    The Wonder Weeks
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    Babies experience regular phases of intense development during which they can be fussy and difficult.

    It’s natural for the parents of a newborn to despair when their little one cries, but a crying baby might not be such a bad thing after all. In fact, crying is often simply a sign that an infant is making a developmental leap.

    Babies go through regular developmental jumps during their first year and a half, when they experience ten distinct changes in how they perceive and relate to the world.

    Most of these changes are neurological, and they involve the rapid growth of the child’s brain as new neural pathways are formed. All babies go through these changes around the same time, although the exact timing can vary by a few weeks.

    Basically, this means that your baby’s brain experiences a growth spurt that moves it one step closer to being an active participant in the world. For instance, when a baby reaches eight weeks, it will learn to recognize shapes and patterns, like light and shadow.

    So, when a baby cries, it’s often signaling that it’s confronted with learning something new. It makes sense then that parents are often shocked by the regular intervals with which their peaceful, sleepy infant bursts into unstoppable wailing. In such instances, the child is simply gaining new skills and interacting with the world in new ways – an exhausting task for such a tiny creature.

    For example, when a baby is first born, it usually cries because it’s no longer in the warm, safe, liquid environment to which it has grown accustomed. In just the same way, when an older baby all of a sudden finds that it’s an individual, separate from the world around it, it will cry again as it adjusts to this shift in reality.

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    What is The Wonder Weeks about?

    The Wonder Weeks (1992) is all about the major changes babies go through during their first year and a half of life. These blinks explain the huge developmental steps that every infant makes as they discover their own identity, learn how to move, talk and relate to others.

    The Wonder Weeks Review

    The Wonder Weeks (2017) is a valuable resource for parents, providing insights into their baby's development and helping them navigate the challenging phases. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Based on extensive research and observational studies, it offers a comprehensive understanding of the mental leaps and growth spurts babies go through.
    • By detailing each developmental stage and providing practical tips, it equips parents with the knowledge to support their baby's learning and emotional well-being.
    • The book's accessible language and relatable anecdotes make it a compelling and engaging read, ensuring that parents stay informed and never find the topic mundane.

    Best quote from The Wonder Weeks

    I always noticed that my baby was difficult for a few days before I realized that he was making a leap. (Maribel, young mother)

    —Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij
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    Who should read The Wonder Weeks?

    • Parents-to-be who want to know what lies ahead
    • Parents who are overwhelmed or confused by their baby’s fussy behavior
    • Pediatricians, psychologists and educators interested in early infant development

    About the Author

    After studying psychology, wife and husband team Hetty van de Rijt, PhD, and Frans Plooij, PhD, became deeply interested in infant development. In the 1970s, they studied young chimpanzees with Jane Goodall in Tanzania, before turning their attention to human babies for the next 20 years.

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    The Wonder Weeks FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Wonder Weeks?

    The main message of The Wonder Weeks is understanding and supporting your baby's mental development through key developmental leaps.

    How long does it take to read The Wonder Weeks?

    The estimated reading time for The Wonder Weeks will vary based on your reading speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is The Wonder Weeks a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Wonder Weeks is a worthwhile read for parents. It provides valuable insights into the mental development of babies and offers practical tips for supporting their growth.

    Who is the author of The Wonder Weeks?

    The authors of The Wonder Weeks are Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij.

    What to read after The Wonder Weeks?

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