anyone else with a high needs/spirited baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 12-17-2009, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess we have come to the conclusion that Kayla is high needs. I have heard colic, GERD, you name it they said she has it. She has been hospitalized twice since she was released from the NICU. Each and everytime, they say nothing is wrong with her, she is just high needs.

She is way ahead of her milestones, supporting head at birth, cooing at a month, sitting up at 3 months, learning to crawl at 4 months, ect. She was also born premature.

That is all great, however the downside to it she cries all day unless she is being held, facing out looking at everything. She has been very alert since she was born. Nothing makes her happy unless she is overly stimulated. She gets bored with all her toys, her swing, jumparoo. The only thing that makes her sleep (now that is one thing I am lucky for is she has slept 8-12 hour stretches since 1 1/2 months) is going for a car ride. Now that she is at her 4 month sleep regression well she wakes every 30 minutes or so.

Anyway, has anyone else been though this/going through this? Any advice?
Her constant screaming is driving me insane, it makes me question whether I was even meant to be a mother. Noone wants to be around us, not even her father. The Dr keeps telling me, just relax and one day your high needs baby will make you millions. At this point I doubt she will ever be happy.

Jenn, single, wahm, to Kayla Rayne born 8-18-09 and Gunnar James who was born sleeping @ 39 weeks 1/12/2011
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#2 of 27 Old 12-17-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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This is my baby. It is so, so draining. He wasn't premature, but he did have colic and also has GERD. I'm a SAHM and DH works long hours, although he works close to home and can be here in an emergency. DH is wonderful with the baby, but we spend our evenings playing pass the baby. We don't eat together, we take turns having downtime at night. I keep telling myself this is a phase and it will pass. But after hours of screaming, I am spent. The neighbor has even come over a few times and offered to take the baby because she can hear him from outside.

On the flip side, when he's happy, he's absolutely adorable. He's such a people person and everyone comments on how social he is.

Advice? I don't know that I have any, but here's what we've done. I finally hired a sitter to give me a break a few hours a week and it's been wonderful. I never thought I'd do it, but my sanity is worth it. We also go, go, go. I get out of the house, out in public, and around people. He loves it and it breaks up the day. He also likes walks outside, so we do that. We go to the store and I press all the buttons on the annoying toys. I wear him in a carrier at the grocery store and pick up random things off the shelves to "show" him. I make up songs, we play with tissue paper, he sits on my lap and we do hand plays.

We ARE good mothers, although I need to be reminded sometimes. I tell myself that I'll do whatever it takes to get through this phase and in a year it will be a thing of the past (I hope). Hang in there!

A supportive military wife and mama to my busy boy and sweet girl.
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#3 of 27 Old 12-17-2009, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my baby. It is so, so draining. He wasn't premature, but he did have colic and also has GERD. I'm a SAHM and DH works long hours, although he works close to home and can be here in an emergency. DH is wonderful with the baby, but we spend our evenings playing pass the baby. We don't eat together, we take turns having downtime at night. I keep telling myself this is a phase and it will pass. But after hours of screaming, I am spent. The neighbor has even come over a few times and offered to take the baby because she can hear him from outside.

On the flip side, when he's happy, he's absolutely adorable. He's such a people person and everyone comments on how social he is.

Advice? I don't know that I have any, but here's what we've done. I finally hired a sitter to give me a break a few hours a week and it's been wonderful. I never thought I'd do it, but my sanity is worth it. We also go, go, go. I get out of the house, out in public, and around people. He loves it and it breaks up the day. He also likes walks outside, so we do that. We go to the store and I press all the buttons on the annoying toys. I wear him in a carrier at the grocery store and pick up random things off the shelves to "show" him. I make up songs, we play with tissue paper, he sits on my lap and we do hand plays.

We ARE good mothers, although I need to be reminded sometimes. I tell myself that I'll do whatever it takes to get through this phase and in a year it will be a thing of the past (I hope). Hang in there!
Wow you just summed up my life! Not eating together and playing pass the baby is a daily routine in our house! It is so true, when she is happy she is so very happy (which is almost never) but when she is angry, the neighbors know it haha.

I always find it funny, when we are out and about everyone comments on how social and happy she is. Now if they only saw her at home!

I was thinking about hiring a sitter, but I'm terrified to leave her alone with anyone. I do not know how they will react with her. Even my friends and parents can't tolerate it, its a very lonely situation really. They do not understand "what is wrong with her". That is one question that haunts me! Nothing is "wrong with her!"

Today is the first time she is being left alone with her dad because I can not take her to an appointment I have. I'm worried, but I am sure they will be fine.

Thanks so much for the reply, makes me feel better

Jenn, single, wahm, to Kayla Rayne born 8-18-09 and Gunnar James who was born sleeping @ 39 weeks 1/12/2011
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#4 of 27 Old 12-17-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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I have a high needs 5 month old who is currently napping in my arms. Its so hard and incredibly draining. You're not alone, though.

Have you tried Hylands Colic Tablets? Somedays, that's the only thing that will calm her down.

A tired mommy to DD (7/09) and loving wife to DH (08/06)
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#5 of 27 Old 12-17-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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I can relate. My four-month-old son is the same way. He was incredibly alert and physically strong from the moment he was born. He cried for the first four weeks of life and then "settled" into constant fussing. He refuses to be put down and demands constant motion. If we put him down when he's sleeping, he'll usually notice and wake up. He also spits up constantly which is so frustrating. No official medical diagnosis for him. I tried going off of dairy and that seemed to help some. The Dr. is reluctant to diagnose him with anything as other symptoms just aren't present. Interestingly, I was the same way as a baby. Drove my mother crazy. Supposedly, I got easier around 6 months so I hope that's in store for all of us!

My son also has little tolerance for toys, hates the swing, HATES riding in the car, riding in the stroller etc. I wear him most of the time and end up going for many, many walks a day as well. He seems to enjoy it and it helps me keep my sanity which is definitely worn thin by the end of the day. Unfortunately, winter has arrived here so going out and about is going to get tricky. Sometimes singing distracts him. Dancing too.

It is completely exhausting! It's terrible to feel like you're counting down the months till your baby is older and out grows this phase.

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#6 of 27 Old 12-17-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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My son could lift his head after he was born. He had to do things on his own too so when we were trying to breastfeed he would scream if I even tried to guide him. It took forever for him to latch on and I cringed with all the screaming.

Now, he has a very short attention span (I know it's normal, but he won't even focus long on a toy) and won't play with a toy longer than say 3 seconds maybe. If he can't roll over right away he will scream until he does it, he gets mad when he can't pull himself forward, and so on.

He's a very active little boy and when happy is so adorable! But he has his own opinions and demands and when they aren't met he will throw a fit. But on the upside, all his energy drains him so if he's tired enough he will go down very easy!

He's going to be a very active child and quite a handful, which I absolutely love.

Mother to a crazy wonderful son born 7-11-09 and A very determined amazing daughter born 5-3-12!
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#7 of 27 Old 12-17-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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Yup, we have one, too! She's 10 months - smart, silly, really high needs and very, very attached. It can be tough - in 10 months, I've gone out the door without her 6 times (4 quick doctors appointments, 2 quick runs to the supermarket) and DH has taken her out alone 4 times. That means in 10 months I have been separated from her a grand total of about 10 hours. Some days (like yesterday) I wonder why I didn't choose to braid hair on the beach in Jamaica!

I remind myself over and over that this will pass and that a healthy baby is a huge blessing. I met a couple the other day that had 2 boys born with two separate heart issues. They accidentally overdosed one of the boys with his heart medicine and spent the night lying on the floor of the hospital expecting him to die (he didn't! he's amazing). When I hear stories like that, I realize I have no problems.

Do what you have to to keep your sanity!
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#8 of 27 Old 12-18-2009, 02:54 AM
 
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My daughter is 10 months old and is as you describe: very active since birth, very happy outside doing things but generally unhappy inside.
But, she has gotten much much easier. Especially when I can get her to sleep enough, which is getting easier too. And she naps by herself now
The only way I have found to make the days more pleasant for both of us is being organized and somewhat structured during the day. Both of which do not come naturally to me but it has made a big difference so I adjusted. Basically the day goes like this ( there is no set time for anything yet regarding sleeping hours since she still from time to time stay up for several hours in the middle of the night several days in a row)

Wake up, nurse and cuddle ( we co-sleep)
Change her diaper (that's the only diaper change where she is happy usually)
Go say hello to the dogs and cat in the living room where some days she will play, cruise along the couch and bug the dogs for 15 mns while I wash hands, drink the coffee, well decaf, made by DH, talk to my other kids, etc...some days my Dh will take her when he drives my son to school during which time I'll eat breakfast and see DD1 out the door. Otherwise DD2 goes in the highchair and gnaws on bread while I eat. then she gets breakfast and then she wants to walk around the house holding my fingers.
Then we go for a walk in the neighborhood.
We come back, play some more although by that point she is already grumpy. We watch the birds and squirrels at the feeder (I highly recommend feeders, an endless source of entertainment!). We get the eggs from our chickens.
Then lunch, nurse, nap.
When she wakes up, again she might play a little by herself, we walk around inside and outside. She has a snack and we go do some errands. Anything to get out of the house since after 4pm she gets very fussy no matter what you do. She has dinner at 6:30, no matter what . Then immediatly after, a bath in which she is very happy. Unfortunatly after that it's downhill and DH gets handed the baby as soon as he has a toe in the door
She goes to bed at 9pm.

I'd say the more outside time she has the happier she is. Also when she finally manages a physical milestones she is quite happier for a while (like cruising for example) but then she wants to be able to do more, like running, can't and get frustrated again and is grumpier in general.
We get her new "toys" regularly ( the most prized are things from around the house usually).

And that is a very very long post, sorry.
My point is though..it does get easier but I don't think it'll ever be smooth and easy.
DS was such an easy happy baby. Sigh. And he slept. Sigh again.
Ah well, as my grand ma says: I'll sleep when I'm dead

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#9 of 27 Old 12-18-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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I would say that maybe you should look into hiring some help. You can hire a mommy's helper just to entertain her while you have a break. I wish I'd done that with ds -- he wasn't as bad as far as the constant screaming, but he was very fussy and high needs. I took him on a lot of walks and car rides. Your dd probably gets bored easily. Are you in an area where you can walk to the park? I'd say do that as much as possible. Pack a lunch and walk.

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#10 of 27 Old 12-18-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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My five year old DS had reflux and colic. He needed constant attention and couldn't entertain himself for a minute. He was super social and loved going out. He hated sleep and didn't need that much of it. He didn't sleep for more than a two hour stretch until he was 18 months old.

He is now in kindergarten and is amazing. He could hold his head up at birth, like others have described. He was walking by nine months and has a huge vocabulary for a five year old. People constantly tell us how verbal he is and how funny he is. In preschool and church his teachers always comment that he's funny and how sweet he is.

It is tough but there is a big payoff for that constant care. Also, as others have suggested be sure to take care of yourself by finding the help you need.
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#11 of 27 Old 12-19-2009, 05:13 AM
 
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I hear you !! I am seemingly becoming aware that i too... have a HIGH NEEDs baby boy whos is now 6 months as of 6 days ago... and starting to go out of my mind !! I have my Baby Boy All Day and My wife complaining and yelling @ my by Nite to quite him down ( family members: are too old or too busy to help ) SO, i do as much research as i can - before u burn-out try some of these: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T051200.asp#T051201
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#12 of 27 Old 12-22-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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just wanted to say i SO get what you're going through. we went through 8 months of this altogether with our boys. ♥

wife to wonderful dh_malesling.GIF mama of three-DS1 born December 30, 2005 and DS2 born September 27, 2008 and one lovely little girl born September 7, 2011jumpers.gif

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#13 of 27 Old 12-23-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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Us too. Colic until about 6 mos.; reflux from birth; sensitive to dairy and soy.

She's one busy child! I comfort myself by being grateful that she arrived first. If I had another child to manage I might have thrown her out the window a long time ago!

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#14 of 27 Old 03-02-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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Hrm. My first is almost a month old and I'm seeing many of the same "symptoms" as you all are.

She is very alert when awake and must constantly be held and shown around the house. We are always in motion. She isn't satisfied with simply being held - and I have to hold her facing out, for looking at Mommy is way too boring!

It's making life challenging - how do I eat? go to the bathroom? etc etc. My husband and I haven't eaten a meal at the same time since day 2.

I guess I should be thankful there are so many mom's groups and activities in my area. Looks like we'll be out and about quite often.

The only difference seems to be she generally sleeps well at night. I can nurse her down around 9pm and she may not stir until 3... and that's if I wake her to feed her. But then she's generally up the rest of the morning until I give in and get up.

Now that almost 3 mos have passed since this thread started - have any of you learned any additional tips or advice to share?

DD#1 arrived 2/7/10!
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#15 of 27 Old 03-02-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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Hrm. My first is almost a month old and I'm seeing many of the same "symptoms" as you all are.

She is very alert when awake and must constantly be held and shown around the house. We are always in motion. She isn't satisfied with simply being held - and I have to hold her facing out, for looking at Mommy is way too boring!

It's making life challenging - how do I eat? go to the bathroom? etc etc. My husband and I haven't eaten a meal at the same time since day 2.

I guess I should be thankful there are so many mom's groups and activities in my area. Looks like we'll be out and about quite often.

The only difference seems to be she generally sleeps well at night. I can nurse her down around 9pm and she may not stir until 3... and that's if I wake her to feed her. But then she's generally up the rest of the morning until I give in and get up.

Now that almost 3 mos have passed since this thread started - have any of you learned any additional tips or advice to share?

If you don't have a baby carrier, invest in one. Too bad your DD is already 3 months. We used the Moby Wrap from birth - 4 months, and while she was still light enough I could wear her facing out. Now we have an Ergo and it is seriously a Godsend.

With it being so cold still, we walk around the mall a lot. It gives her something visually new to look at for a couple hours, and she's much more content to just chill when we get home. Having her in the stroller facing out keeps her very happy because she can see everything and interact with others if she chooses to.

Things have gotten "different" if not easier as my DD gets older. She's able to self entertain for a bit. Trying new foods is fun for her. Mastering her ability to stand is her main goal right now. She could do that for hours, either holding onto me or the couch.

A tired mommy to DD (7/09) and loving wife to DH (08/06)
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#16 of 27 Old 03-02-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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I don't know if this counts as high needs or not, but this is my motherhood experience this far in:

My daughter has also been very strong right from the get-go. At her WBVs, the ped always commented on her strength and alertness. I think she's right on cue, maybe a bit advanced with milestones- she is rolling in both directions and sitting with very little assistance and can stand if we hold her hands.

And she is miserable. She doesn't LIKE anything. Bouncy seat will appease her for a few minutes, she screams in the swing, her playmat is good for minute or two. She won't sleep unless she's in the sling and physically able to touch me at all times- day and night.

She is still nursing every 2-3 hours, sometimes more.

If we are just sitting and I'm holding her, she is squirming and arching her back and fussing. She needs to be engaged by us 24/7

I love being her mum, but she sure is exhausting. Do I have a high-needs baby?

oh. and she is just waking up. I was able to sneak out of bed earlier than her this morning and get a couple things done. LUCKY ME!

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#17 of 27 Old 03-02-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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I don't have time to post- but wanted to check in and say that sounds like my baby! If he ever naps again I would love to check in to this thread!

Feels good to know Im not alone.

People IRL don't seem to understand why I am often frazzled.

Gotta go he needs me!
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#18 of 27 Old 03-02-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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I have a ridiculously fussy baby as well, she is now 4 months old and about to wake up in my arms, oh and here it goes ... screammmmmmm.

ok im back. no wait screams again.

oh back. had to go sit on a yoga ball to bounce her.

we also play pass the baby, and we r going nuts.

ive been trying all kinds of things. chiropractor, elimination diet. going off dairy helped some - just like someone else mentioned.

i dont know what it could be. :

i used to want atleast 3 kids, but thats totally out the window now.

i need help.

28 - DD 11/3/09 (planned homebirth)
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#19 of 27 Old 03-03-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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I have a ridiculously fussy baby as well, she is now 4 months old and about to wake up in my arms, oh and here it goes ... screammmmmmm.

ok im back. no wait screams again.

oh back. had to go sit on a yoga ball to bounce her.
OMG This is my life. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. I'm overjoyed if I have a free second to use the bathroom.

DD#1 arrived 2/7/10!
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#20 of 27 Old 03-12-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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I guess we have come to the conclusion that Kayla is high needs. I have heard colic, GERD, you name it they said she has it. She has been hospitalized twice since she was released from the NICU. Each and everytime, they say nothing is wrong with her, she is just high needs.

She is way ahead of her milestones, supporting head at birth, cooing at a month, sitting up at 3 months, learning to crawl at 4 months, ect. She was also born premature.

That is all great, however the downside to it she cries all day unless she is being held, facing out looking at everything. She has been very alert since she was born. Nothing makes her happy unless she is overly stimulated. She gets bored with all her toys, her swing, jumparoo. The only thing that makes her sleep (now that is one thing I am lucky for is she has slept 8-12 hour stretches since 1 1/2 months) is going for a car ride. Now that she is at her 4 month sleep regression well she wakes every 30 minutes or so.

Anyway, has anyone else been though this/going through this? Any advice?
Her constant screaming is driving me insane, it makes me question whether I was even meant to be a mother. Noone wants to be around us, not even her father. The Dr keeps telling me, just relax and one day your high needs baby will make you millions. At this point I doubt she will ever be happy.
OH I am here...this is me. No Dr.s and we don't have the great sleep patterns...but five minutes per toy and she is bored. Did I over stimulate her when she was too little and now she needs way too much stimulation? She hit milestones a bit early...no crawling yet, but sitting and cooing, oh my gosh does sophia talk (coo) endlessly and cries all the time, but not pain just irritation, not hunger just "hello I am here!"

Sophia ~ 9/21 learning how to be crunchy mama. Uh oh, I just went over the crunch edge! ECing!! Planned ~ maybe next time : :
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#21 of 27 Old 03-16-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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my 4 month old is also high needs. he screams nonstop unless he is being held while dancing around the room. the second I stop dancing or if I sit down he starts screaming again. this has created a major issue with my two year old who, aside from being a typical two year old, requires a little extra care because she had a liver transplant as a baby. hubby works long hours and I'm having a terrible time trying to care for both of them and be the happy, calm, nurturing mommy they need. I'm exhausted! when does this end??

Jasmine
Happy Hippie Mamma to Kai Nolyn (Nov 28, 2007) and Reef Wallace (Born at Home Nov 27, 2009)
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#22 of 27 Old 03-16-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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Well I don't know when it will end...but after visiting my friend, I feel blessed to have such a demanding active babe.

My friend had twins, she is very mainstream, and decided to be induced at 37 weeks, no health reason, just wanted to make sure her OB delivered her and before the new year, for tax reasons...yeah I know how awful this is and sounds, but the Dr. supported it and she really TRUSTS Dr.s.

Anyhow, I saw the twins this last week and for a moment I was jealous...they were so quiet and subdued, mellow, almost too much...ok there is no almost about it, they were way too quiet! Maybe they will be fine but I remind myself as I am running around with only one and trying to keep her happy that someday she will be happy and those two would worry me on the other end of the spectrum!

Sophia ~ 9/21 learning how to be crunchy mama. Uh oh, I just went over the crunch edge! ECing!! Planned ~ maybe next time : :
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#23 of 27 Old 03-16-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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I just wanted to say that I've embraced my high needs baby, but I recently had a freakout. I went to a mom's group and there was one point when all of the babies, except mine, were calmly NIP. I started crying. It is so hard for me to leave the house because DD can't eat or sleep unless she's in her double-layer-blackout-curtained room with white noise, and it's still ALWAYS a struggle. Every time she needs to eat or sleep. Every time.

And all of these moms were friends and it seemed so easy for them. It was really hard to see. I like to think that there are many moms like us out there, but we only see the easy babies whenever we go out. Those are the moms who make it out.

Also, it's hard to hear people who don't have high needs babies talk about how they just do (fill in the blank) and then their baby eats/sleeps/calms/etc.

Sorry to sound negative. I just needed to vent.
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#24 of 27 Old 03-16-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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If you can't vent here...then where can you. I like the thought that we only see easy babes because those are the ones that go out.

Sophia ~ 9/21 learning how to be crunchy mama. Uh oh, I just went over the crunch edge! ECing!! Planned ~ maybe next time : :
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#25 of 27 Old 03-16-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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suggestions for all. go gluten/ casein/ soy/ corn free. If you are strict about it, it will help. It does take time to get all of it out of your system though. sometimes a small baby crying is them trying to communicate their need to eliminate, and then they get really upset that we aren't listening. see if it happens that baby is very upset, then pees and relaxes (use a thin cloth with no wrap or go naked). make sure both of your diets are free of all GMO (if it isnt labeled organic and is in a box or bag (ie not a veg or fruit or pure food like pecans) chances are it has GMO ingredients) food colors, MSG, preservatives etc. also if the babies have received vaccines, there is so much going on inside of them at a cellular level, it can generate a lot of crying, even weeks after.

To begin to save the world, we must first nurture the children. Read "The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost"    saynovax.gifgoorganic.jpgintactlact.gifMe-hippie.gifreading.gifhelp.gif10.5 yo dd1- nut.gifreading.gifblahblah.gif ; 5 yo dd2- angel.gifhearts.gifbouncy.gif
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#26 of 27 Old 03-16-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarpop View Post
Well I don't know when it will end...but after visiting my friend, I feel blessed to have such a demanding active babe.

My friend had twins, she is very mainstream, and decided to be induced at 37 weeks, no health reason, just wanted to make sure her OB delivered her and before the new year, for tax reasons...yeah I know how awful this is and sounds, but the Dr. supported it and she really TRUSTS Dr.s.

Anyhow, I saw the twins this last week and for a moment I was jealous...they were so quiet and subdued, mellow, almost too much...ok there is no almost about it, they were way too quiet! Maybe they will be fine but I remind myself as I am running around with only one and trying to keep her happy that someday she will be happy and those two would worry me on the other end of the spectrum!
My DD is high needs. Her cousin who is 9 weeks younger is not, and she's one of those calm babies. But guess who has the easier time with the hard days? We do... because we fight the fight every day, we know how to roll with the punches. We have an arsenal of tricks up our selves that help calm our child or entertain them. My days are hard, but when SIL is having a hard day with her calm baby she has no clue what to do and her world falls apart.

Things might be really really difficult for all of us... but we can handle "difficult" on a lot bigger scale than mamas of easy babies. Go us!

A tired mommy to DD (7/09) and loving wife to DH (08/06)
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#27 of 27 Old 03-22-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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This is my first time visiting this forum and I was relieved to find this thread...my little guy is definitely high needs and definitely fits many of your descriptions. He has been alert and active since birth (now seven months) and whenever we go out, everyone comments on how cheerful and smiley he is. But he is the screaming-est, screeching-est, moody-est, little baby I have ever known! We adore him and feel so lucky to have a healthy baby but it has been HARD! Struggled with colic and GERD and breastfeeding difficulties from day one but the reflux is almost behind us and the breastfeeding got a lot better. No more endless hours of crying inconsolably but now it is just needing constant attention (lasts about 60 seconds alone if I'm lucky and is quickly bored with toys and any kind of jumper, bouncer, etc.)

Being out helps and routine helps and doing whatever i can to keep him rested helps. But he is so moody that he'll be happy in the carrier one day and screaming to get out the next-resulting in a loooong walk home carrying a 20 lb baby in my arms. I've definitely been the mom of the fussing, crying, screeching, squirming baby in every group I've been too. So, as much as I don't have any advice to give, it is nice to find other mom's out there going through the same thing...
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