Saturday, January 01, 2005

A New Year, Another Growth Spurt

So by the time we were leaving Louisiana, we were pretty sure Celeste was in the midst of another growth spurt. She looked bigger than before and she'd wanted to eat about every two hours and not to nap for more than 45 minutes at a time.

She's 17 weeks old today (developmentally, she's about 13 weeks old based on her due date) and something's definitely up. Yesterday, I mentioned how she's been sort of sullen the past few days, well, it looks like that is part of the lead up to the next "wonder week."

This wonder week theory — outlined in Hetty Vanderijt and Frans Plooij's The Wonder Weeks: How to Turn Your Baby's 8 Great Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward — is kind of interesting, and seems to match up with our experience thus far. Basically, there are mental growth spurts just as there are physical growth spurts. Sometimes, the two coincide; other times they don't. But whenever one occurs, everything the baby has figured out about the world is turned on its head and she or he has to figure out how reality is constructed anew. It's frustrating and scary, ergo, the fussiness and other changes in behavior.

The book was originally published in Dutch as Oei, ik groei!, which translates roughly as "Oh no! I'm growing!"

Since we got back from Louisiana, Celeste has been fighting sleep, screaming whenever she's put down (to a much greater degree than can be explained by the horizontal alarm), and generally acting sullen, inconsolable, and unhappy. Sure, she's always had that "I'm out of here when I'm 18" look, but this goes beyond that. This morning, however, she was a bit more pleasant. We got some smiles and a good nap and even some solid playtime. No giggles, but there's hope that she'll laugh again.

It looks like she's in the build-up to Wonder Week 19, which would be a bit ahead of schedule since we figure she just hit Wonder Week 12 a little before Christmas, but the book does say the build-up could start as early as week 14. (Plus, at some point she's got to start closing that due date vs. birth date gap.) Hopefully, the transition will be a smooth one and we'll all be in an "uncomplicated" period again soon enough.


Anonymous said...

So, it is 3 years later...did your baby smile again? We seem to be going through something similar and it is scaring us! She is 19 weeks old and is irritable, not playing, and not smiling. She also started sticking her tongue out a lot.

T. Carter said...

Yes! At three, she is quite a character, lots of smiles and laughs ... although occasionally serious and mopey, too. Get Wonder Weeks, it really is a fantastic peek into the developing mind of little ones ...