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Feeling Exhausted by Wonder Weeks Leap 6

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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, let us know in the comments below.

You can find out more about our experiences with other leaps, including Leap 4, Leap 5, Leap 7 Leap 9 and Leap 10.

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Friday 26th of May 2023

I realize this post is quite old but this blog has given me hope today. I'm two weeks into a leap with my 9 month old (7 corrected) and am wondering if this is forever. (I honestly looked up whether I should go to the hospital for lack of sleep) You have hit upon so many things I am experiencing; wiggles during changes, cosleeping to finally get some shut eye, the newfound clinginess - I will keep reading to see how it turns out, but just knowing someone else dealt with this is a blessing.

Nicola | Mummy to Dex

Sunday 28th of May 2023

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your comment. I went through this leap with both my boys and can promise you these tough times don't last forever. Hang in there Mama you are doing a great job

The Tale of Mummyhood

Monday 6th of February 2017

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

Lisa | Pass The Prosecco Please

Sunday 5th of February 2017

Leaps are hell! Hugs x #blogstravaganza xx

Sturdy Mom

Wednesday 1st of February 2017

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.

Becci Davis

Sunday 22nd of January 2017

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