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Mental Leap 6 - 37 weeks - Cognitive abilities develop

The cognitive and emotional development is progressing rapidly. Your baby is 9-10 months old and is acquiring more skills and attitudes that resemble those of a toddler.

It's not uncommon if you experience a touch of dissatisfaction, even over the smallest things. During this period, emotions come into play, like mood swings and jealousy. Your baby may even rebel against otherwise smooth and well-established routines.

Although this leap may feel intense, it's just a phase you'll go through together, while your baby is showered with recognition, love, and care, so he/she knows he/she is never alone.

Here's what to expect during the sixth leap

During the leap at 37 weeks, your baby goes through intensive cognitive and emotional development. Suddenly, a lot of things make sense, and different types of categories like animals, food etc. are especially interesting.

Everything belongs to a category. E.g., dogs, horses, and birds are different, but they all belong to the category of animals. And the same goes for fruits, vegetables, and bread, which are all edible even though they look different.

During this period, your baby may experience jealousy if he/she sees you playing with or giving attention to another child. Your baby will do everything to get your attention, and usually, only mom is acceptable during this period.

Signs of the sixth leap (37 weeks)

This period involves increased crying and a tendency to be clingier than usual. There are many impressions that need to be processed, and the best way to help your baby through the sixth leap is by showering him/her with love, presence, and showing your baby you’ll never leave him/her.

Nightmares

It's not uncommon for your baby to wake up with a scream during the night. If you hear your baby crying or whimpering in his/her sleep, it can be a sign of nightmares. At this age, babies dream, and like adults, they can have nightmares.

Developmental regression

Some babies experience developmental regression during this leap. Do not worry. With all the impressions that need to be processed, it's understandable it can seem overwhelming and draining.

Jealousy and clinginess

Emotions are easily triggered, and perhaps for the first time, you may experience your baby becoming jealous if your attention is directed towards others (children).

Mental Leap 37 weeks - how long does it last?

The sixth leap usually lasts between 3 and 6 weeks, making it one of the longer leaps. All babies develop individually meaning all families will experiences this period differently. Even though it may seem like an intense and challenging period, remember the fantastic journey you're on together as a family. Every phase has an end, and you will get through it.

Tips for getting through the sixth leap

Perhaps you feel you're being put to the test during this leap. But even though it can feel tough at times, don't forget it's just a phase. Try to find time for yourself - even half an hour on the couch doing nothing can do wonders.

Everyone needs a break to recharge and regain balance. A baby hammock can become your
best friend if your baby has trouble settling down and staying asleep. Choosing a baby hammock with a baby bouncer will imitate the comforting movements of the womb or being in a parent's arms, creating the best conditions for naptime.

Even if your baby protests, it's important to stick to routines as they help create a sense of security. This applies to e.g. bedtime, mealtime, bath time etc.

Remember to be affirming and show great enthusiasm for even the smallest achievements, this will in your baby’s mind feel like a huge accomplishment.

The time after the leap (37 weeks)

After the sixth leap, your baby tries to imitate you. Your baby will also have an understanding
of individual words, symbols, and contexts. An example could be if he/she holds an object up to the mouth as a sign of hunger or thirst or claps because your baby wants to play clapping games like Patty Cake.

The world should be explored, and it’s a good idea to venture into nature and let the senses be stimulated. Remember to use words for the different things surrounding you, and to use picture books frequently.

You can already start introducing your baby to the difference between gentle and forceful movements. If you have pets, you can demonstrate how to stroke a cat softly and gently. If your baby is too rough, you should, in a firm but gentle tone, explain and show how he/she should interact with the cat.