Our baby is generally a very good baby, but there are some weeks when she's especially moody, unsettled, clingy and grumpy.

After these periods, she usually emerges with exciting new skills and a happier mood.

Is there an explanation for these moods? Is this a common pattern with other babies?

asked 12 Dec '09, 00:50

Lin's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

edited 14 Dec '09, 02:04

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Tammy ♦♦

After doing some research, I heard about "Wonder Weeks" - 8 major developmental leaps during the first 14 months of a baby's life (at 5, 8, 12, 15, 23, 34, 42 and 51 weeks).

I read The Wonder Weeks by Vanderijt and Plooij and gained a fantastic insight on the stages of our baby's development.

"Shortly before each leap, a sudden and extremely rapid change occurs with baby. It's a change in the nervous system, chiefly the brain, and it may be accompanied by some physical changes as well. Each big change brings the baby a new kind of perception and alters the way she sees the world. And each time a new kind of perception swamps your baby, it also brings the means of learning a new set of skills appropriate for that world."

Now that I'm armed with a good understanding on why she has these "fussy" periods, I feel better equipped to be able to identify a wonder week and how to encourage her and support her during these periods. Now when we know a wonder week is approaching, we get excited and look forward to welcoming each new skill that comes along after!


answered 12 Dec '09, 00:53

Lin's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

+1 for a really interesting answer!

(15 Dec '09, 18:21) Emi

+1 Our midwife told us about these "growth spurts", our son's were like clockwork in the first few months.

(14 Nov '10, 08:37) Mungo

One explanation I remember suggested that the order went: new skill is developing, baby feels confused and uncertain, baby feeds more for comfort, baby grows due to increased food intake.

(09 Jul '11, 04:21) Meg Stephenson

In our experience teething also produces the same effects. The new skills could be coincidental.


answered 12 Dec '09, 01:25

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

yes, apparently coincidental. see my comment to Adam Davis' answer...

(12 Dec '09, 07:43) Lin

We found that our children go through cycles of "regular, "fussy, always hungry", and "sleeping all day long". We associate these with growth spurts, as with some of our children you could see a distinct change in body fat - they seem to puff up around the face and fingers, then they seemingly sleep for a week, and they get longer and thinner.

The always hungry period turned out to be fussy because we weren't giving him as much food as he wanted. We find we can't depend on a real schedule of feeding (in terms of amount and frequency) and have to adapt all the time to their needs.

The "sleeping all day long" periods are soooo nice, though.


answered 12 Dec '09, 03:05

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Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%


quoted from the book referenced in my answer: "These 8 developmental leaps that infants undergo are not necessarily in sync with physical growth spurts, although many occasionally coincide. Many of the common milestones for a baby's first year of development, such as cutting teeth, are also unrelated to these leaps in MENTAL development. Milestones in mental development may, on the other hand, be REFLECTED in physical progress, although they are by no means limited to that". gotta love the "sleeping all day long periods" - the trademark of our little one's growth spurts - we live for them!

(12 Dec '09, 07:42) Lin

It's a common pattern, usually during growth 'spurts'.

I can remember mentioning the 8 week one to our midwife - she just nodded knowingly and said "Yup, 8 week growth spurt, he'll be over it soon.


answered 14 Dec '09, 10:48

Mungo's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

well my baby bacame moody and is jst wihing for everything soo basicly she is jst growing her teeth out she is right now 5 months :) happy i found out but sometimes this symthom is a cold


answered 07 Jul '11, 16:28

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Asked: 12 Dec '09, 00:50

Seen: 19,854 times

Last updated: 09 Jul '11, 04:21