Mental Leap 9 - 64 weeks - Personality development

As parents, you enter an exciting period that offers deeper understanding and imitation of you. During this leap, your child will be even more dependent on you, which can be challenging for all parties involved.

Sleep will also be put to the test. Perhaps putting your child to sleep at night or for a nap in the stroller in the afternoon was going well. The fact that your child wakes up frequently can put a strain on the entire family, but fear not - this period does not last forever.

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

What to expect from the ninth leap?

Your child begins developing a greater understanding that actions have consequences - good and bad. At this age your child starts to think ahead and consider whether it's a good idea if he/she spills the glass of water on the table - does mom look happy, or does she look angry? It is during the 9th leap that reflection on actions occurs.

Everything must be explored - preferably with mom and dad nearby, and some parents experience that their child becomes more dramatic. It doesn't take much before your child disagrees with the way things are done – e.g. getting dressed.

Your child wants to put on his/her own socks, even if it takes a long time. And if you try to help, it can result in screaming. However, this should be seen as a positive thing, as your child begins to weigh pros and cons and shows a degree of independence and the ability to explore on his/her own.

Signs of the 9th leap at 64 weeks

Remember parents experience different signs of the 9th leap. Perhaps you haven’t noticed it, while your friends' child has become a genuine little tyrant. The following signs may indicate your child is going through the leap at 64 weeks.

Dependent on mom and dad

Due to the many new impressions as well as developmental and cognitive skills, it may feel like a tough and overwhelming experience. Perhaps your child only wants to be lifted and hugged by mom? He/she may also follow you around, constantly trying to check if everything is okay. It is not uncommon for your child to depend more on you and need extra care and security in this phase.

Restless sleep

A lot happens during this leap, and it might affect your child's sleep. He/she might wake up several times during the night and longer bedtime routines are not uncommon, due to the many external influences and emotional challenges.

Sudden tantrums

Sudden mood swings may very well be a sign of the 9th leap. One moment your child is in seventh heaven, laughing all over his/her face, and then suddenly shifts to crying or even angry expressions. It may seem like the tantrum occurs out of nowhere, but there are many emotions behind it, and is just part of the development.

Mental Leap 64 weeks - how long does it last?

This leap is of longer duration and can last up to 5 weeks. But as you know, all children are different, and you may only notice a hint of the signs. The leap starts at week 59, and around week 60-61, you may notice your child being particularly clingy.

How to cope with the 9th leap

It is important you are clear in your communication and guide your child in what is right and wrong. Even though it can be difficult, make sure to be consistent and do not give in.

Maintaining healthy routines is important - for everyday life and when it comes to sleep. Try sticking to the routines, even though some days may seem daunting. Remember this will pass too.

It is also important to support your child in doing things themselves - even if it takes longer or is not done exactly as you want. If your child has a tantrum, let him/her release his/her emotions, take a breath, and say "oh well." Acknowledge your child's feelings and show that you are always there for him/her no matter what.

When it comes to sleep, you may benefit from a baby hammock that mimics the parents' rocking motions and the cozy time as a baby. You can choose a baby hammock with a cradle bouncer, which ensures the baby is rocked to sleep while lying safely and snugly in the hammock. It is also important to create a relaxing sleep environment that provides familiar surroundings, making your child feel secure.

The time after the leap - 64 weeks

After the ninth leap, you will notice your child imitates what you do at home. It can be anything from emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, dusting, or gardening. Let the child participate in household chores - even if it takes longer and you need to do it all over again.

Your child also begins to play more independently allowing emotions to come into play. For example, a stuffed animal getting hurt and needs a band-aid on its arm. Your child starts to think ahead and can plan future actions.

You will also experience how your child tests boundaries, and when this happens remember to be clear and consistent in what is ok and what isn’t.

When your child is 15 months old, you can introduce many new games that help develop motor skills and senses. It is also at this age outdoor activities can be explored to great excitement for your child.