Mental Leap 7 - 46 weeks – Understanding connections

Your baby is approaching his/her first year. Perhaps it's a sentimental period - imagine how fast your baby has grown and soon will turn 1 year old.

You might have noticed your child crying more, and easily becomes fussy. Emotions come into play during this period, and it's not unusual for your son or daughter to exaggerate his/her feelings to gain your full attention. Additionally, it may be a bit harder to comfort the little one during the 7th leap but remember -the leap is just a phase.

Read also: Mental Leaps – Follow your baby’s development through 10 leaps

What happens during the seventh leap?

During the leap at 46 weeks, your baby develops an understanding of connections. Suddenly, a whole new world opens, consisting of actions occurring in a specific order. It is during this period your child begins to recognize and understand these connections. For example, there's a connection when the child puts a ball into a ball track, and it rolls all the way through. When the ball reaches the end, your child can start over. Another example is during mealtime. When food is on the spoon, the spoon goes to the mouth, the mouth opens, and a bite is taken. It’s done in a specific order, and that's what your son or daughter begins to understand.

Signs of the 7th leap at 46 weeks

Although the 7th leap brings new knowledge and understanding and a world of possibilities, you will likely experience this phase as more challenging and demanding.


If the period suddenly becomes characterized by jealousy, it's most likely because your child is going through the seventh leap. Perhaps he/she becomes jealous if you direct your attention to other children. Jealousy can also be directed towards parents. For example, if the child is very attached to mom, he/she may show jealousy when mom directs her attention to dad.

Increased attention

To get extra attention, your child may have figured out that exaggerating emotions pays off. If a sweet smile can make dad laugh and smile, your child has gained an understanding of how to get dad's full attention. Moreover, your child is also clever enough and may have figured out that if he/she misbehaves, he/she gets attention.

Tendency to cry

The many impressions and cognitive development can be tough on such a small child. Therefore, it's not uncommon if he/she whimpers and cries more than usual. Perhaps you notice that your child starts sucking more on his/her thumb.

Mental Leap 46 weeks - how long does it last?

The 7th leap lasts about 4-5 weeks, with the toughest period around week 43. As always, how you experience the leap is individual. Some children are not very affected, while others show clear signs. Always make sure to be present and fulfil your baby's needs, even though it may seem hard at times. It can be a good idea to seek support from other parents or your family if you need to recharge. Even half-hour away from everyday life can work wonders.

How to handle the 7th leap

Always make sure to create safe environments and cozy surroundings so your baby has his/her safe place. During this period, you can start introducing your child to more activities and games that help develop his/her skills. Be especially attentive if your child becomes frustrated during an activity. It should be a good experience, and this is achieved when you read your child's signals and encourage him/her when it gets tough. Shower him/her with praise so he/she continues the desire to expand and develop his/her abilities, even when he/she faces resistance along the way.

If your child has difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, you may want to try a baby hammock with a cradle bouncer. The special effect of the hammock is that it wraps the child and provides security. It also resembles the familiar rocking movements from the womb or the embrace of mom and dad.

What to expect after the leap - 46 weeks?

Once you're on the other side of the 46-week leap, you'll experience a completely different child who understands connections. Your child is probably also responding to orders - for example, if you ask if he or she wants to give dad the teddy bear or the ball. You may also have heard the first words, such as yes, no, or mmm.

This is a good time to expand the horizon with more games and activities. It could be games like hide and seek, balancing games, piggyback rides, or looking at picture books. Children's boundaries vary, so always remember to decode whether your child wants to play airplane. Some love it and laugh all over their face, while others find it scary.