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6 week old - high needs or normal?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi guys! Im a ftm to a 6 week old baby girl. Ive been around / cared for kids my entire life so i obviously expected my own to be work, but i feel like she is a TREMENDOUS amount of work. Shes been pretty cranky from about week 1 or 2. At first we thought she had reflux or colic, or possible food allergies because i ebf. But she doesnt quite fit the patterns for any of those. Shes generally fine over night. She will wake up about every 3 hours to get changed and fed and then goes right back to sleep. During the day though, shes a crabby nightmare :/ fussy right from the start, its difficult to get her to nap, and she CONSTANTLY needs to be held. Overnighy my hubby and i actually take turns with her sleeping on our chests...not ideal i know, but i dont know what else to do. When i have her alone during the day i literally cant even pee without listening to screaming. Cant shower til my husband gets home. She needs to be held, walked, bounced, etc. I have a moby wrap which works for a few mins but thats it. She hates the car seat, her bouncer, and her bassinet. Im just at a loss for what to do. So many people tell me i need to start letting her cry but i feel like shes way too little for that. So i dont know if shes just a high needs baby or if there is something else going on. Any advice? Will i survive this? Im so afraid its going to continue for months and im terrified to return to work in october :/
post #2 of 18
this sounds exactly like my son. we thought colic, milk sensitivity, acid reflux... when really i just think it's his personality. he is slowly getting better - he's 8 weeks now. but even today, for example, he won't let me put him down to nap. he wants me walking around or bouncing him on our yoga ball. the second I sit on my couch he flips out and starts crying again. he hates his carseat, the bouncer, vibrating napper... at night we swaddle tightly and put him in a rock n play and that gets us 3 hrs tops. good luck. it's not easy but they will grow out of it. feel free to message me if you want to vent!
post #3 of 18
Sounds normal. Probably a bit high needs. Then again it's not a bit of a stretch to say that most babies are like that In the very beginning. Don't worry it should get a little better pretty soon And things won't be quite this intense. Every baby I've ever had or known was kind of like this.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank u both for offering me a little peace of mind! So many people have been making me feel like there must be something "wrong" with her, whereas im starting to see this is just who she is. The past few days ive actually been able to put her down and she will look around contentedly for a few minutes before crying. Its a lot of work but id much rather hold her when she needs me and build that trust rather than let her cry it out to train her to be a "perfect" baby.
post #5 of 18

My 1st was like that, needed to be held and moved constantly. His frustration peaked before he could crawl then was a bit better. He has continued to be a passionate, active child. If she is safe, fed, changed, and comfortable it's ok to let her yell until you finish what you need to do. Not to train her, but to take care of what needs to happen, including taking care of yourself.


Do check for signs of reflux, gassiness, or not getting enough milk. You could try a chiro adjustment for her, some babies need that. Avoid lifting her bottom/curling her up when you change diapers, that can cause tummy issues and misalignments (roll to the side or lift her back, bottom, legs, and all to wipe up). Try a food diary just to see if some things you eat do make her worse, maybe skip cow milk for several days just to check.

post #6 of 18

I think it's pretty normal. I had a "happy, friendly" baby, who rarely cried and smiled and looked at everyone. But I don't think I ever put him down, really, not for the first few months. When I put him in his bouncy chair so I could pee, he did cry, but I expected that.


When she falls asleep in your arms, can you put her down? I gradually found I was able to do that sometimes, with my newborn.

post #7 of 18
It can be very annoying at times, But the in arms stage is actually a pretty short piece of your babies life... Once they learn how to crawl and move around around they usually are much less interested in being held, I actually miss the stage at times.
post #8 of 18

I think it's pretty normal but I would definitely recommend a chiro adjustment.

post #9 of 18

Yeah, it sounds like a personality thing.  It is also true that most newborns *need* to be held a lot more than we expect them to be.  You can try a food diary, and you can try putting her to sleep before you think she is sleepy - my babies are much harder to get to sleep when they are over tired,  My first was just how you described  he did end up having some food sensitivities, and removing the trigger foods did help a little, but he can still be pretty needy/intense, even now at 2.5 - -it's who he is.  My DD is a bit more open to being put down, and it's not because of anything i've done differently to "train her".  


FWIW the chest sleeping is not that uncommon either - my son needed to sleep like that for months, even for naps.  but he did eventually grow out of it, and it's true, you will miss it.  it was also  impossible to transfer him to a bouncy or crib once he was asleep, but he did eventually start to like the wraps.  


it's definitely hard to handle, and like a pp mentioned, try not to feel guilty for taking care of yourself - it needs to happen so that you have the stamina to care for her.  


hugs and good luck, and remember to listen to your mommy instincts!

post #10 of 18

Sounds pretty normal, or within the range of normal.  She'll likely start calming down somewhat now and eventually be "happier" by 12 weeks.  That was about the time I could put my baby on a play mat (with toy arch) for a few (~5+) minutes, if I really needed to.  I had the same kid you did, but I expected to hold her constantly (never even really tried a bouncer or whatever), so it didn't faze me that much, I guess.

post #11 of 18

She sounds normal, maybe slightly high needs. I think that people who have a lot of experience with kids totally underestimate their own needs postpartum and the stress of a newborn plus the huge LOAD of responsibility and care needed. It really is totally different and much harder when you are IT. 


Just retrench, focus on getting through a day, and rock that sling. Get an exercise ball if you don't have one. And the Harvey Karp video is really helpful.


Baby #3 was honestly just the same but by that time it was old hat and the three year old was the challenge.


It gets better. I promise. 

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you all! Ive actually gone through the dairy (and wheat, and soy) elimination and there was no difference so im quite sure this is just her personality. Some days are getting better tho! I do have an exercise ball which calms her down pretty quickly, and while i still cant get her to tolerate the moby wrap, she actually likes the baby bjorn carrier so we have been starting to go for walks outside when its nice. Everyone comments on how alert she is so i have a feeling once she can move around on her own she will be much happier smile.gif i think part of my initial problem was that i was putting too much pressure on myself. I figured that because im home from work i should be able to care for her and clean and cook etc etc, but ive realized that right now i need to focus on her and everything else can wait. I hope the poor thing doesnt grow up to have my type a, ocd, perfectionist personality lol wink1.gif
post #13 of 18

It sounds to me that she just needs more time and care to adjust to life outside the womb. Have you heard about the fourth trimester?


I do agree with previous comments about the chiropractic adjustment though. What we thought was colic in my smallest twincess turned out to be silent reflux (there's no spitting up, so harder to recognize) and the chiro adjustment ended up solving so many little issues.


Remember that your emotions can also dictate (? not sure I'm using the right term) her behaviour. My son is now 6 years old and my twincesses 3 years old. And every single day still I realise that their behaviour tends to reflect my emotions. When I'm relaxed and happy we have an awesome day. But when I'm tired, stressed or sad, we have a horrible day.


Even if it means waiting for daddy to get home to help, take time to relax in a hot bath or do whatever fills up YOUR cup. You will survive this and it does get easier. hug2.gif

post #14 of 18
My daughter is 5 weeks today and i can finally lay her down under her Munari mobile for a few minutes to pee. But if I try and get a glass of water, it's all over. She likes to be bounced on the ball but my arms get tired so I put her in the Moby and she cries for a minute till she is lulled to sleep. Same thing happens when I put her in it, or the Ergo, for a walk. Oh, and when she gets hungry, she wakes up and starts screaming to be fed in less than 3 seconds.
It's a phase. They need to be close to mommy. You'll get through this. Look up the book, "The Happiest Baby on the Block" byHarvey Karp. It explains the 'fourth trimester' idea and why babies are so needy.
post #15 of 18

My DD was much like this too. Fortunately she's the first so she had all my attention, we'll see how #2 is!


I could sometimes put her down for a minute or two (literally) in her crib and spin the ceiling fan and she'd watch it, but mostly I peed holding her on my shoulder unless someone was around to hold her for a couple of minutes. No way could I shower and even her naps were pretty short (I held her for most of them, sometimes sitting in a rocker reading, going for a walk, or napping with her). We had a ring sling which seemed to keep her happy most of the time, but around the house I just carried her over my shoulder or snuggled against my chest. She slept on my chest at night till it was getting hard to breathe LOL, probably 4 months or so. Then she still slept with me in bed for several more till we slowly started putting her in the crib sometimes.


She's a pretty independent 2.5 year old now, will go off on her own to play frequently (sometimes getting into things she shouldn't, but that's sort of the age, haha). She is very happy to explore the world on her own, in fact it is usually hard to get her to stick by me. So her earlier needy phase doesn't really seem to have affected her toddler behaviour.

post #16 of 18

I agree that this is just a needy phase and mommas need to remember to slow down, take lots of naps with baby, drink lots of water and let the cooking and cleaning slide for a while.


But, just in case this is something other than normal fussy clingy baby behavior . . . . 


Have you tried taking her diaper off and seeing if she wants to pee over the sink or in the potty?  Our middle kiddo was a crier until we realized that she just didn't want to wet her diaper.  We learned her communication and were AMAZED at how often newborns pee (like every 7 minutes when they're awake).  After we started responding to her elimination communication we had an incredibly content baby.  Phew!


With our youngest, the fussiness seemed to be associated with a lot of tension - his arms and hands would rarely un-curl, even in sleep.  So, upon the advice of our midwife, we took him to a cranial sacral practitioner who specializes in babies.  After the first session we had a lot less crying around bowel movements and easier sleep.  After the 2nd (and final) session those little hands finally uncurled and relaxed.  Now, at 9 weeks, he has finally realized the difference between day and night and I'm starting to get some decent sleep and things are looking sooooo much brighter!


Take care of yourself mamma . . . working extensively with children gave me a good bag of tricks to pull from when working with my own children, but it did not prepare me for the fatigue, emotional rollercoaster of hormones, feeling like a failure because I couldn't get a decent meal cooked, etc.  The practice of self-compassion has been a good one.  Lots and lots of practice!  : )

post #17 of 18
Originally Posted by squiggles View Post
 Everyone comments on how alert she is so i have a feeling once she can move around on her own she will be much happier smile.gif

Yup, same. Mine got bored so easily. Once he could grasp well enough to play with things, it got a LOT easier to put him down and do things. He's still clingy, though. And I'm still his preferred sleeping place- it was our first day back to school today. I had him for a few hours, he needed to be held and slept through it on my lap. When my partner had him, he was more willing to entertain himself and my partner was actually able to get work done. duh.gif (that might've just been timing- I had him right after we got to school, so he probably needed a nap after all the excitement of getting ready to go and such, then my partner had him when he was more energetic, then he needed another nap when I got him back)





We don't have a crib- but we had a bassinet, and he would NOT stay in it. At all. The bassinet was actually the only baby furniture that we paid full price for, so we were pretty annoyed by that. Oh well. We do have a vibrating bouncy chair (like this) and a baby swing- they don't work all the time, but the only time that LO has slept not in our bed with us, it's been in one of those two.

The bouncer- this I would actually suggest because it was the first thing that baby was able to figure out how to play with. It has an arch with toys you can put on it, and he figured out that if he kicked his legs, the toys on the arch would move. He was SO happy with that discovery. He learned to do this a few weeks before he had the motor development to really play with other things, so it was nice that he had a way to entertain himself so soon.

The swing- at first LO wouldn't stay in it, then at 2 or 3 months we gave it a try and he was OUT for hours. So, basically, you have to keep trying things until they work. :|

We got the swing from GoodWill and the bouncer from a family friend, I know that all this baby stuff can be expensive, just a few suggestions that have worked for us. You'll find what works for you and your baby, but it's really just trial and error and, yeah, nothing is going to replace being held, but you can at least get the time to go to the bathroom or make yourself a quick snack.


Of course, even when he's doing fine, I swear he starts crying the second I try to do something important... It's very frustrating. I'm still nervous about how this semester will go. :(

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well we r just shy of 11 weeks and im happy to report that things are definitely improving smile.gif she is still held probably 20 + hours out of the day lol but at least she isnt ALWAYS crabby anymore. She enjoys kicking around on her changing table (supervised) for a few mins, is more tolerant in the car seat - meaning instead of crying instantaneously, she waits about 10 mins haha, and will usually sit in her bouncer long enough for me to take a super quick shower. I wish i could get her to nap a little out of my arms so i could get stuff done around the house but we arent quite there yet. I enjoy the cuddle time but im definitely feeling fried at this point! I give all u mommas with more than one little ones a LOT of credit! I couldnt even imagine doing this with a two year old running around!
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