Feeling Exhausted by Wonder Weeks Leap 6

Dexter smiling while doing tummy time

We are now fully immersed into Wonder Weeks Leap 6. I should be happy that my baby is making a mental leap into the world of categories but already I am feeling tired, frustrated and emotional.

It doesn’t help that these leaps coincide with what appear to be periods of teething and that during the first week of this leap, I started making tentative steps to returning to work by organising some KIT days making me feel really emotional that soon I’ll be returning to work and leaving my baby behind.

I’m not ashamed to say that I am feeling completely overwhelmed and frightened by the thought of returning to work. I have currently been out of the workplace for a little over 12 months and when I return full time it will have been close to 16 months. (I was off sick for a couple of months with SPD during my pregnancy).

Dexter smiling while doing tummy time

What is Wonder Weeks Leap 6?

Leap 6 is the world of categories. Suddenly your baby will be able to group things in his world into categories such as food, animals, objects and people. Signs that your baby is in a leap include:

  • eating and drinking more
  • wanting to be held and cuddled more
  • crying more easily
  • waking more frequently at night
  • fighting naps
  • wanting to sleep more
  • very focussed and interested in what he is doing (eg. playing with food, moving toys around)

What was Leap 6 like for us?

I always know when Dexter is starting to enter a mental leap – he begins playing with his hands, holding them up in front of his face and staring at them in amazement. Then, things start going up a notch. He stops looking at me. He wants to be in his own world and doesn’t want anything to do with me. Or, there’ll be times when all he wants is me. He will sit quietly in my lap while I sing or read and just want to be held.

The most frustrating part of Wonder Weeks Leap 6 is the crying. The tears come and nothing can solve them. He doesn’t want to be held, he won’t sleep, he’s not hungry and he seemingly hates me. It’s devastating. It almost makes me think that it will be a relief to return to work; but then I remember his face and his usual sunny disposition and feel guilty.

dexter sat on his highchair with lots of noodles coming out of his mouth

The last wonder weeks mental leap we went through was long and hard. Towards the end, I had forgotten my lovely boy and only knew this whiny, cranky baby. It left me wondering where I had gone wrong, to raise such an unhappy creature. Then, one afternoon he woke up at 2pm after a nap and the Dexter I could barely remember was back. I can’t even explain it. Since then, we’ve had five or six wonderful weeks together over December and January, but now a leap 6 is here and along with it has returned an impatient, teary and ignorant baby.

I know I have to hold it together to help him through this. I cannot lose my patience and I have to take it when he is struggling out of my arms and refusing to acknowledge my existence. I am angry though. Angry that my last few weeks with my baby have to feel like this. Why does nature put us through it? I spend the long days with him wishing for them to come to an end because they are so exhausting. I then spend the evenings feeling sad and guilty; missing my little boy like crazy, wondering why I wish them away.

Every nap I will be waiting. Waiting to see if he wakes up from this dark cloud that has shrouded him. Waiting for my little boy to come back.

You can learn more about mental leaps, including leap 6 on the Wonder Weeks website.

How did you cope with Wonder Weeks Leap 6?


  1. Leanne Harris
    17th January 2017 / 9:45 am

    Aw mate, I totally relate to you on this one. Ollie was like I’d picked up another baby on his last leap. Felt so guilty I was wishing him to hurry and grow up and getting impatient.

    Like a different baby now, constantly smiling and laughing. Waiting for the next leap like ?

    Totally can sympathise! X

  2. 17th January 2017 / 9:46 am

    Oh bless you, I remember these times well. The difficult phases can be so tough! It will be over soon enough though, hang it there xx

  3. 17th January 2017 / 10:13 am

    I always found Wonder Weeks to be spot on with my first but it’s always a bit out with my second. It is so exhausting but it doesn’t last forever 🙂

  4. 17th January 2017 / 11:20 am

    I remember leaps so well, there’s nothing you can do to help the little one and your whole world is turned upside down. You go through phases of happy normal thinking everything is under control and then the crap hits the fan, you don’t know what the heck is going on.
    I hope you feel brighter soon and definitely enjoy your time together xx

  5. Kim Scotland
    17th January 2017 / 12:53 pm

    Hang in there! It is hard going back to work after an extended period away. I was away only 10 months before I came back to work, but I promise it does get easier.

  6. 17th January 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Ah bless you! I have all this to come! Benjamin has been teething from 2 months so I feel I’m in for a long hard haul until he’s bigger! x

  7. 17th January 2017 / 1:38 pm

    He is such a cutie, and growing handsomely. it can be tough, but it is something they all go through, can be tough for us, but don’t worry Mumma you got this.


  8. Amy | All Things Amy
    17th January 2017 / 1:52 pm

    I completely get this! We’re in the same leap and boy it’s hard. Its amazing watching them change though, I feel like little man has learnt loads the last few weeks. Good luck, hopefully it’s not too hard on you!

  9. 17th January 2017 / 9:26 pm

    Oh lovely, your post makes me feel all emotional! It’s hard when they’re going through these stages – we have the same struggling out of my arms and I get so annoyed and frustrated. The thing is that even though we feel guilty for feeling like that, they don’t know about it so we shouldn’t. Completely understand your reticence at going back to work but honestly, actually doing it is so much easier than you think it’s going to be. I was terrified but it’s been good for us, it’s forced us into more of a routine and it’s made me appreciate even more the time we have together. Please don’t worry, you’re doing it all for the right reasons and once you’re back, it’ll feel like you’ve never been away. x

    ps. leaps suck.

  10. The Hippy Christian Mum
    17th January 2017 / 10:42 pm

    Awww that last pic of him chewing the cot is soooo cute! A few of my friends have told me about this wonder weeks app but I haven’t used it. My little boy is 10 months and has just turned a corner after a ‘whingey’ couple of weeks and now he is doing more things like raising his arms to be picked up. Teething just seems constant! #PostsFromTheHeart

  11. The Amphletts
    18th January 2017 / 9:09 am

    I’ve not stumbled across the Wonder Weeks site before – I’ve always taken the good days with the bad & never attributed it to a particular stage in his development, so this is interesting to read. It’s not fair that it’s clashing with your return to work, but it will get easier & this will stage will soon seem like a distant memory.

  12. 22nd January 2017 / 10:36 pm

    There is always up’s & down’s but sadly the downs happen more than the up’s. Keep strong he will soon be through this and back to his happy self #Postsfromtheheart

  13. Sturdy Mom
    1st February 2017 / 4:06 pm

    Sounds just like how I am feeling right now! We just started mental leap 5 and it’s already tough! On top of it, my son hadn’t napped in his crib since 3 months old. I have to wear him in the carrier or drive around. It’s exhausting. He also had a helmet now for plagiocephaly, which isn’t helping things. I started blogging his journey just to make me feel better by releasing emotion and to help any other moms out there. Thank you for this post! It helped me feel better.

  14. 6th February 2017 / 1:13 pm

    Phases like this can be so difficult to get through. My youngest is experiencing something similar right now, I don’t feel like anything I do can make her feel better. Before I know it though she’ll be back to her old self, we just have to stick at it! Thanks so much for linking up to #Blogstravaganza xx

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