Explaining the “Why” Behind the Whines

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To borrow from F. Scott Fitzgerald, it takes a genius to whine appealingly.

Now before we give our little ones too much credit, remember that a child never whines for no reason at all. True, sometimes it’s that he is cutting his teeth or perhaps has a tummy ache. But, most of the time, this is just an excuse you might hear from people around you.

It’s important to remember that whining is very different from crying. It is a constant assault on your peace of mind. And, when your child is whining, that peace is sometimes very difficult to find.

Our first instinct, as parents, is to try to stifle the whining as much and as quickly as possible. Sometimes it is because of the incessant sound of it, but really, very often, because of our own frustrations as parents. The reason this is hard to find is because you love your child intensely. You want him to be happy, and you feel frustrated that you can’t give him that what he wants to be happy.

This, my dear parents, is why it is so important that you know what is going on in the mind of your child. If you know that, you can give him that what he is whining for.

This may sound really difficult, but really it is not.

Our worldwide research shows that babies make 10 major predictable, age-linked changes – or leaps – during the first 20 months of their lives. Babies undergo these fussy phases, each with their corresponding clingy periods at the onset, happen at around the same ages: at 5, 8, 12, 19, 26, 37, 46, 64, 55 and 75 weeks. The actual start may vary by a week or two, but you can be sure of their occurrence. These are called the “wonder weeks.”

With each of these drastic leaps forward in your baby’s mental development, your little one’s brain is rapidly changing. He feels, hears and sees things he never sensed in this way before. It is like he entered a whole new world. He is scared and wants mommy and daddy to cling on to. So, he whines for attention and because he is scared.

If you know what new things your baby now understands, you can help him to make this leap in his mental development easier. (I describe the best games and things to do with your baby with every leap in The Wonder Weeks.) He will not only be better off and more mentally stimulated, but he will also whine much and much less. To put it this way: a win win situation for both baby and parent.

So, what do you do? Well, first things first, I would tell you to know when the wonder weeks are and act accordingly!  In order to help you do so, be sure to go to www.thewonderweeks.com to learn more and for a great, limited time special offer.  And then I would suggest that you understand what the new brain capacity your baby will have after making a leap. If you know this, you can better understand your baby and see the world through his eyes. This understanding will make you a better guide for your baby when he enters this "new world."

Also, some sanity saviors for you, as a parent:

  • Take a long look at all the pictures you have on your phone. It will help you to visually remind you of happy times when you feel like you simply cannot take any more
  • Just leave everything the way it is and take real quality time for your baby. Go out and visit the world. Leave your cell phone at home, not emails, no distractions. Just time with you and your baby.
  • Take it a little bit of time at a time…or count down until bedtime.
     

** To help you stay one step ahead of your baby, we’ve included a reference chart in the book, The Wonder Weeks. Be sure to go to www.thewonderweeks.com to learn more and for a great, limited time special offer. (Here’s a hint: it’s 35% off per book!) **
 

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