During these weeks, Liam will make the fourth leap in his mental development, which is known as the world of events. Until your baby has gone through this leap, he can only perceive one smooth transition, but after your baby has gone through this leap, he is able to perceive a short, familiar series of smooth transitions with all of his senses, including seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting, when it comes to interacting with those around him. Examples include the perception of a bouncing ball or grasping something with a hand. Your baby will enjoy the classic nursery rhymes with gestures such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.
This is a giant leap. Your baby is now able to perceive events. Until now, your baby could only perceive one smooth transition at a time. Of course, he would see multiple smooth transitions but perceive them as separate smooth transitions. Your baby is now able to see, hear, taste, feel, and smell a short series of smooth transitions, patterns, and sensations. Do you remember how far and clearly your baby could see before and after leap one? Now, your baby can see as far and as clearly as you. You may say that, for the first time, your baby can now see what you see. The following movie highlights what your baby can now see in the world of events:
Your baby grabs something without missing
To grab something successfully, you have to adjust the way you move your hand every split second. You do this without even thinking about it. For your baby, grabbing while continuously adjusting his hand is something completely new. Your baby is now able to adjust his hand movement from one smooth transition to another, resulting in him being able to grab something.
Your baby explores objects
While your baby is now able to perceive a series of smooth transitions, he will also start to make various series of smooth transitions by himself. This not only shows in how he successfully grabs something but also in the way he handles toys. Your baby will now shake a toy up and down and turn it around to explore it. Of course, the same applies to all the objects that interest him, not only toys. Your baby also likes to explore your mouth because numerous events are going on in there. Look at how baby Victoria explores her mommy’s mouth during play:
Waving your hand is an example of a series of smooth transitions. Before making this leap, your baby would perceive waving as separate smooth transitions. Now, he understands that making a hand gesture that goes from left to right to left to right can be seen as one movement. Of course, your baby still does not understand the meaning of waving.
A musical scale (Do, Re, Mi) is an easy-to-understand, audible event. In fact, all short series of musical notes that belong together form an event. Just think about the opening tune of Beethoven’s Fifth (Ta ta ta taaaah).
Exercise – Spot the Events
Make a list of 20 events that you see, hear, feel, taste, or smell every day. You will see that this list is much easier to make than the lists we asked you to make in the previous leaps. Why? Because events are much easier to perceive for us than sensations, patterns, or smooth transitions. Your baby’s perceptual world is already much more like yours, so making a list of 20 events should be a piece of cake. Just to make it a bit more challenging for you, we will give you a list of 20 daily events, but of course, you cannot just copy these examples; you have to put 20 different events on your list.
• Cutting something.
• Turning your hips.
• Waving leaves.
• Dribbling a ball.
• Drawing on paper.
• Typing on a keyboard.
• Browsing the web.
• Reading a book.
• Making a meal.
• Walking the dog.
• Watching a movie.
• Dancing to music.
• Relaxing with a (well-deserved) cup of tea.
When you talk, there are lots of ‘events’ in your face. Spontaneous events are fun for your baby to see. The weirdest things may seem to draw his attention such as a vomiting dog. We automatically see something disgusting, but your baby will be fascinated by the movements the dog makes. The movement of the dog’s head (going back and forth) is one big event.
There are other live events that your baby may enjoy, including watching someone scratch themselves or brush their hair. Be conscious of the daily live events you see everywhere around you. Turn your baby so that he can clearly have a look too. The more live events your baby perceives, the more he will learn. As you can see, events are everywhere. If you are conscious of them, you will be able to facilitate your baby in the best way possible.
Leap Fact One: Universal sounds of a baby? Did you ever notice that the words ‘dada’ and ‘momma’ sound similar? Scientists think this is because of the first babbling sounds that are typical for this leap.
Leap Fact Two: Repetitive movements We know a knife that moves back and forth over an object is cutting the object because we have seen this so many times. Your baby, of course, has not seen it yet. The meaning of a repetitive series of movements is different for your baby than it is for you. Your baby just sees a series of fascinating repetitive movements and does not understand the purpose behind them.
Leap Fact Three: Brain wave changes About two weeks prior to this leap, a major change in your baby’s brain waves takes place. The head circumference also increases drastically between 15 and 18 weeks.
Leap Fact Four: Music insights A 19-week-old baby is able to tell whether or not a musical piece is finished!
Dates to Remember: The first (fussy) phase of this leap into the world of events is age-linked and predictable, beginning between 14 and 17 weeks after the due date. Most babies start the second phase of this leap 19 weeks after their due date. The first perception of this new world sets the development of a whole range of skills and activities in motion. For example, the ability to perceive events is a necessary precondition for grasping a cube with partial opposition of the thumb, but this ability appears anywhere from four to eight months.
Reference: The wonder weeks