A few weeks ago I was really struggling with Ivy’s behaviour. My usually happy, self-assured daughter was replaced by a devil child! She wasn’t very well for some of it and I think that played a part, read my post about those horrendous few weeks here.
But recently I stumbled upon a post about Cognitive Leaps and the more I read up on it, the more I realised that I was sure Ivy was going through one. She seemed to be learning a lot all at once. Her speech was coming on in leaps and bounds as well as her motor skills. She was also understanding us more when we were asking her to do something.
I found it fascinating to read about so I thought I would do a post in case any of your little ones are going through the same. This post is just an overview to give you an insight into cognitive leaps, what they mean and how you can help your toddler through them. I have inserted links to much more in depth posts so you can have a look at those too.
A cognitive leap is when they are going through a massive new development in their learning. Before a child learns a new skill, the brain goes into what is called relative chaos, which basically means you have yourself a very cranky toddler on your hands. Once the skill is mastered the child’s brain connections will then solidify and you have your relatively sweet and angelic child back (har, har!).
Another huge development that your toddler will go through quite often are growth spurts. While these are happening your child can be feeling some discomfort and it can throw them offside. It can lead to your child feeling unwell and not wanting to eat or having trouble sleeping at night. So when you think your child is being naughty and just won’t sleep then they are probably dealing with growing pains.
How To Help Them
Implement an earlier bedtime: even if it is 10 or 20 minutes earlier than usual this can help your child to settle better because they’re getting overtired and we all know an overtired toddler can be bad for everyone all round!
Increase their omega 3 intake: I read somewhere that 40% of your brain is made up of fats that come from omega 3’s so when your child is going through a huge brain development then increasing their omega 3 intake can help them a whole lot. I found this post extremely helpful in learning about all of its benefits.
Turn off the TV: Television can over stimulate a child so when they’re going through a cognitive leap and they’re already feeling restless and irritable then TV isn’t the best option. Even though it easy to switch it on because your child may pay attention to it, you might find they soon start to misbehave. So it’s just as easy to switch the radio on instead. It can distract them when they’re feeling cranky by bringing a calm to the chaos in the brain and it won’t overstimulate them. A good boogie can boost anyone’s mood!
Go outside: We’ve all heard that exercise can boost your mood and this goes the same for children. Letting your child run around outside can distract their brain from it’s intense thinking and fresh air will do them wonders.
I hope you found this post helpful in introducing you to cognitive leaps and what they can mean and how to can help your toddler through them. Here are a few other posts and sites that I found helpful when researching them.
The Wonder Weeks is a great source of information to help you learn about all of the different leaps your child goes through and at what age you can expect them.
What sparked this blog post was coming across this brilliant post. Head on over and have a read for a much more in-depth look at cognitive leaps.