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Life With a Baby > Spring Spirited Babies Group
P.J.'s Avatar P.J. 01:50 AM 03-30-2011

babyf.gifWelcome to the Spring Spirited Babies Group!babyf.gif


Here is a list of the 12 features of a High Needs Baby.


This is the place to come to share about our spirited little ones. Any mother of a high needs baby needs a little extra support herself, that's for sure!


This is a list of the mamas who were posting here in the last several months:


Mrs.T (Raina) mom to Kevin, 4/7/10

momto4plus4 (Sara) mom to Jeremiah, 4/5/10

PJ (PJ) mom to Max, 5/24/10

LeaPea (Lea) mom to Luna born 6/12/10

sosurreal09 (Kami) mom to Aniela (pronounced like ahnyella) 9/30/09

Liz.Furtado-mom to Maxwell, 7/5/10

yippiehippie (Rebecca)- mom to Jack, 4/7/10

callahansmama (Erinn)~ mom to Callahan, 5/18/10

Terrilein (Terri) ~ mom to Fritz, 7/17/2010

mamaladd ~ mom to Jax, 5/7/2010

mamadiamond (Betsy) ~ mom to Haven, 7/6/10

pinkmonkey ~ mom to Charlotte, 3/8/10


If you'd like to join this group please simply introduce yourself and your baby and you'll be added to the list.



P.J.'s Avatar P.J. 01:58 AM 03-30-2011

Hi Everyone! How's it going? Any of you out there still needing this thread to get some extra support from mamas with likeminded spirited babes? I sure do!!!


Max is now 10 months and in the last couple weeks has become more intensely HN. These days, so many basic daily routines have become major struggles. After every meal the cleanup ~hand and face wiping~ is just awful. Max screams, esp. during the face wipe, as if I am disemboweling him. Also lately diaper changes are torture. Sometimes I can distract him with songs, toys, etc....but more often that not he just screams. I have heard of mamas being able to master the standing-up dipe change, but I sure can't do that, especially for the poos!

He also screams very intensely whenever he feels thwarted, for example every time I open the fridge or dishwasher he gets really curious and wants to explore there, then when I close them, watch out! I have literally left the fridge open for minutes on end while I prepare lunch just to keep him quiet. eyesroll.gif

He also violently refuses things (like a sippy cup, or any food or toy he doesn't want) by hitting it away hard when he's feeling fresh, which is almost always!


Anyway, I thought this intense stuff came up around age two, ya know, the "terrible twos"??! But around here it's already happening. Eek!


So how are the rest of you doing? Any new mamas out there with a fresh young little firecracker baby?

Terrilein's Avatar Terrilein 02:03 AM 03-30-2011

Ok, I'm in. My ds is nicknamed Mr. MeNoSleep. His naps are irregular and he won't go down at nights except after a long, drawn-out struggle, leaving me often with only one single hour of the day for myself. The rest of my day is spent with him mostly in arms and me trying to keep him from fussing all the time. Strange enough, when we're out visiting he's a lively, happy, smiley baby. But at home he's babyzilla if I try leaving the room or do something else for 2 whole minutes. I can't get anything done and am becoming resentful. I'm engaging a cleaning lady - she's coming over today to see what needs to be done, how often, $$$, etc. Hope that helps.

LeaPea's Avatar LeaPea 08:52 AM 03-30-2011

Lol! I need to start calling Luna Babyzilla!! We were doing well for a month or so, but the last month and a half has just been hell. She is increasingly frustrated that she can't walk, or climb over her baby gate winky.gif. It has further been complicated by intense teething. She is getting  four teeth at once. She hasn't been napping very well. So, when she goes down I have a few minutes to use the restroom and get something to eat. At the end of the day, I am utterly exhausted. I have about an hour to myself at night, then it's time for all the night wakings! My back is killing me cause she wants to nurse all night long. Anytime I take Luna out, people comment on how busy she is. Lol! It's like that all day long. But, she is always more pleasant when we are out. Now that Spring is finally coming, we can get out of the house much more.


callahansmama's Avatar callahansmama 09:42 AM 03-30-2011

May I join???? I'm erinn and my son is callahan. I have just copied the post I just made before I found this group. So excited to find you mamas!



I have a 10 month old son and feeling a little overwhelmed with him at times:)He is the most active and physical baby I have ever seen! He can be rough and I spend a lot of time demonstrating and modelling "gentle" with the dog and another little girl that I babysit part time in our home. He just wants to be into EVERYTHING and moving all the time and god forbid I want to cuddle, he wriggles and writhes out of my arms. He is just always ON, almost never just relaxes and camly does anything. He hates to be dressed, undressed, changed, washed after eating - even baths are crazy because all he wants to do is stand up and grab the faucet and try to climb the walls lol.   I nurse him and he eats a variety of finger foods (whatever we are eating basically) but only in small amounts so he still nurses around the clock (although most of it happens during the night). I will nurse at any time but I mostly offer after naps when he is groggy because that's the only time he will be still enough. He does settle down to be rocked at nap time and bedtime although he still wakes anywhere between 2-4 times per night and I try to co-sleep with him for the last couple of hours (would do more but he sleeps better on his own for the most part), partly to give him lots of mama time that we miss in the daytime when he's so busy. He is generally a happy baby and we " talk" alot and he loves climbing all over me on the floor and knocking down towers of blocks and he will crawl around me while I read a book. I try to give him lots of time and attention and do lots of fingerplays, songs and games. I am a sahm and we live in a remote northern community across the country from any family where you literally have to fly in and out so besides a few days after his birth and 3 weeks when he was 4 months old, he has spent almost every single day in this house with just me. We sometimes go to playgroup but it often conflicts with his naptime. The weather has been too cold to even go for a walk since about November so it has been just recently that we have gotten out for a walk two times a day. His dad gets home at 5, feeds him dinner and then he is in the bath by 6:15 and out like a light by 6:45 or 7. We are heading back south for a 5 week vacation and then once we are back it will be warm here and we can spend lots of time outside (as we will on holiday too). He has 6 teeth and  four of them are coming in all at once right now. He has been cruising and crawling for 2-3 months.


So my questions are:


1. Is this typical behaviour? ( I have a degree in early childhood education but I haven't done much work with babies and I have never seen one like this lol)


2. Do you think he could have cabin fever like I do?


3. Do you think that the tension/frustration that goes along with learning to walk could be contributing to his wildness?


4. Any ideas about how to calm him down or teach him to relax a little? He will have no part in baby massage and even when I use candlelight and lavendar in the bath he is still squirrely!


I love this kid to death and his determination and spunk is one of the things I love most about him but it feels like it's getting a bit out of hand. If this is typical "boys will be boys" then no big deal but I was just wondering if anyone else has a little terror like mine. Lord help me when he's 2! 

callahansmama's Avatar callahansmama 09:45 AM 03-30-2011

Oh and Callahan was born 05/18/10:)


P.J.'s Avatar P.J. 02:22 PM 03-30-2011

It sounds like he really needs to get out. My lord, if you two've been cooped up inside all winter like that, I can see why he's going nuts! I know for us, and for many other mams and babies, it helps enormously to get out of the house and go do stuff, anything. Max is also very social and he loves to flirt and is always curious about other kids and what they're doing. So for us it is essential to get out every single day, and to interact with others as much as possible, usually 2-4 x /week. I am soooo soo happy about spring's arrival and the nice weather. We've been outside just about all day every day, and at the playground a lot too. It makes such a difference in Max's temperament.


I bet you'll meet a whole new baby once you guys can spend time outside, and maybe interact with others more too.


But whoa I hear ya about not wanting anything "done" to him. Same here. Max hates anything being passively done to him and protests loudly. Makes it kinda hard to be a baby!!


Welcome to the club Terri and Erinn!

mamaladd's Avatar mamaladd 04:16 PM 03-30-2011

OH ... Thank you for this thread!  P.J. - I could have written that post myself about my boy Jax -- born May 7.  We are so overwhelmed trying to keep him happy.  The last week or so has been especially impossible with him.  I don't know what he wants or needs.  I just can not keep him happy.  He wiggles to get out of my arms, I put him down - he screams louder.  There is not hardly a single minute in the day that I am not responding to him.  We honestly don't get more than about 10 or 15 minutes of contented baby time a day!  I have to take baths WITH him...he will not sit in there alone.  He won't sit in his high chair or stroller for that matter.  The ergo frustrates him.  And the car seat elicits instant screams!  He is much happier when we go out, but I can only carry him so long...especially once he starts dive-bombing to get on the ground.  I'd be happy to put him down outside, but EVERYTHING goes straight in the mouth, and he can really clamp hard when I'm trying to get gravel or leaves or grass or bark out of his mouth.  I really do not know how to get through the days.  He's a horrible sleeper, of course.  It so hard to not feel like a failure.  And I feel so guilty for not loving every minute (or even most minutes) of motherhood with him.  All I wanted was to be a mom...and now I feel so disappointed, no good at it...And guilty for not enjoying it. 


P.J.'s Avatar P.J. 08:53 AM 03-31-2011

Originally Posted by mamaladd View Post  It so hard to not feel like a failure.  And I feel so guilty for not loving every minute (or even most minutes) of motherhood with him.  All I wanted was to be a mom...and now I feel so disappointed, no good at it...And guilty for not enjoying it. 


I think this sums up a lot of what mamas of HN babies feel. Other people also see it as being our fault if our babies aren't perfect little angels, compounding everything.

I also desperately wanted a baby for years before Max came along. I assumed I would just love it all the time because of that. It just never occurred to me I might get such an intense, needy little guy~ and what that practically means! All babies are needy, and I think most new moms are surprised at how hard and intense being a mom actually is. We are all pushed to our limits at times. But with a HN baby all of that is cranked up a few notches!! dizzy.gif

callahansmama's Avatar callahansmama 01:44 PM 04-06-2011

How are all of our spirited babies doing this week? Callahan has been sleeping really poorly for about a week but I think it is due to about a million things all colliding at once - teething, tummy virus, separation anxiety, low milk supply this time of month, learning to walk...! Co-sleeping after I go to bed is helping a bit but it means I am in another bed and room than my honey and that sucks big time. I am trying to convince him to move our guest bed into our master and combine the two double beds but he is a little apprehensive about it, about never getting our bed back to ourselves. Other than that, we are having a good week and my little boy is just going a mile a minute! He is into everything and irrate at times when he doesn't get what he wants, including in the fridge, in the cupboards, in the toilet...! We are gearing up to a trip, just the two of us, across the country to visit family for 5 weeks! The thought of 3 flights in two days (one almost 4 hours) is getting me a little anxious. Not to mention in and out of cabs with the car seat, baby and luggage! Also a little nervous about staying with my parents for 5 weeks and how they are going to react to my parenting style. My parents are great but my mom still believes all the bullshit she was taught as a new mother in the late 70s, including spare the rod spoil the child, "He has to learn to fall asleep on his own, crying won't hurt him" and giving bottles of water at night instead of feeding. I have a feeling we are going to have more than a few heated discussions. Hope all is well with all of you and your little munchkins.

mamaladd's Avatar mamaladd 03:26 PM 04-06-2011

Sorry to hear Callahan's not sleeping well.  I don't know about your house, but I know those days/weeks are really hard on us.  


We had a horrible week last week...stomach virus for all of us.  Vomitting babies are NO FUN!  Ughh...I couldn't even begin to count the loads of laundry we did!!  And trying to care for Jax in between throwing up ourselves was brutal!  


We're sleeping better this week...I think because we re-instituted the swaddle at night!  Is that crazy??  11 months old tomorrow and still swaddling!  We always swaddle for naps still...but we started to add the swaddle back in for that first 1-2 hour stretch when Jax goes down, and I'm up with DH.  We had a stretch where he wouldn't sleep more than 20 mintues without me in there.  Once I'm in bed with him after the first wake up, we leave him free.  How do you guys put your little one's down for sleep?  We still have to swaddle, turn him on his side, bounce on the ball, with a pacifier and sing him lullabies with the white noise machine on in the background!  I never thought I'd be doing that this long.  He has such a hard time switching from awake to asleep.  Once I'm in bed with him at night, he'll wake (every 2 hours or so) and nurse back to sleep (typically...sometimes we have to bounce him again). This is good...I can handle that, but sometimes I think I'll be bouncing him to sleep when he's 4!!


We had an EXTREMELY tough couple of days...where even I couldn't seem to get Jax happy...much less DH or any other family willing to try.  High-pitched crazy screams if anyone even looked like they wanted to hold him.  Thank god it passed.  I'm learning that as soon as I really don't think I can take a certain thing any longer, it phases away (even if only temporarily).


PJ - JAx loves the fridge too...trying to change my pic to one of him in the fridge.  I too use it to try and do a dish or two (thought, once I open the dishwasher...he's all over that too!)


I'd love to brainstorm some ideas of what on earth to do with our babes all day.  I literally try something then think...ok...that was 5 minutes...now what?  I'm having a really hard time figuring out how to get through the days.  We try walks, but the stroller is completely out of the question, and he'll tolerate the ergo for about 30 minutes...if 20 of that is nursing.  He likes to "play" outside, but it's exhausting...he just wants to crawl around and put everything he can pick up in his mouth.  Then get really angry when I try to take out the dirt or leaves or rocks he's stuck in there.  I've seen some ideas about a container of beans and measuring cups and such...but i'm afraid he'll just try and eat them.  What on earth are you all doing to fill the days??


Callahansmama...good luck with your parents...it can be so hard to be around such conflicting ideas of parenting.. especially when you have your hands full with a spirited little guy.  What works with my family is to try and "be happy" about it.  Like...saying I get the "opportunity" to hold him for our walks, rather than saying I "have to" hold him for our entire walk.  Then following up with the fact that you enjoy parenting this way and it just feels right.  I even throw in a little bonus to my parents about how they taught me to always follow my heart and this is what feels right for us. The worst thing for my mom, at least, is to think I'm suffering.  Then she feels compelled to intervene or show me another way.  If she thinks I'm okay and happy, she can rationalize in her head that it's okay...to some extent.  

megannt's Avatar megannt 09:09 PM 04-06-2011

I would like to be added to this thread. My little one, olive, is definitely a HN sleeper. She is quite content and easy to take care of in other areas, but almost all of my energy goes to getting her enough sleep. She is very, very light sleeper and will only sleep in her crib or our bed, with the white noise machine, and even then, small sounds will wake her up. She takes a lot of rocking and nursing at night and each time she wakes up, which is mainly why I am so tired. Of course, she will only let me put her to sleep, mainly because she loves to nurse and always has, since day 1. She gets very upset if I sent daddy upstairs to put her back to sleep! She gets so mad that it actually makes it harder for me to settle her if he goes up to get her, so I just go up. I used to be very zen about this, but she has taken to waking up every 1-2 hours through out the night. After all of the night waking and amount of energy it takes to get her to sleep in the day, I just don't have to playful energy that I wish I had when its time for the fun stuff. I hate being a zombie mom through all these lovely baby moments. Her sleep needs make it very hard to leave during the day, as she has never fallen asleep in her carseat (she used to hate the thing, but that has thankfully changed) and needs to be in her room to sleep.  This makes things like church and all day events, like weddings, oh so difficult.


I hate to sound like I am complaining because I really am blessed in other areas with her. She is the cutest little thing and is relatively easy to take care for in most other aspects of her little life. She has always been a great nurser and now that she is crawling, she is loves to crawl around and explore all of the rooms in the house. She used to have pretty intense seperation anxiety, but that has since subsided and as long as I stay in the room, she is fine being held my someone other than mom or dad. My husband and I could really use a date night, but that will just have to wait.


We have horrible cabin fever over here, too!! Unfortunately, in Washington, spring has yet to make it's arrival. All we have is rain rain rain. We usually just bundle up and brave it, but I long for sunshine days that we can spend in the park or at the playground. I can't wait for nice weather, it will do us all some good.


Can I just say, thank goodness for baby wearing, co-sleeping and nursing?!??!!! I don't know where I would be without these three things, my goodness. I am so glad that God directed me to this way of parenting, my little one definitely needs it.

P.J.'s Avatar P.J. 02:02 AM 04-07-2011
Hi everyone! I will come back and make a longer reply to all the new posts, but right now don't have time....as we all know a HN baby usually won't let mom do much else except give undivided attention...for more than maybe 3-5 minutes at a time. So I'll post more when he's asleep...and I've gotten all the other stuff on my list done...may have to be tomorrow or over the weekend.
Terrilein's Avatar Terrilein 02:12 AM 04-07-2011

Really agonizing over sleep here, not getting much time for myself, my home being an utter wreck and the cleaning lady not showing on Monday. And ds has been, I dunno, ill? the last several days. He's been pooping soup diahrea since Monday. So I've been going through my stash in lightening speed. Yesterday I went out and bought some sposies as a back up. DS has been taking it all in stride though, much better than I expected. I was HN though. Being cooped up at home having to change poopy diapers all.the.time. ACK! Yesterday dd had a soccer game and I put him in a sposie and we went to watch - I'm the assistent anyways. No poops the whole time! And sunny, warm weather! Today his diaper input looks more normal. No idea what he had. But I hope it's over. I want to get out, see people and get some things done.

mamadiamond's Avatar mamadiamond 07:54 PM 04-08-2011

can i join? i'm betsy, and my dd is haven. she is 9 months old.

it is so relieving to see this thread and know there are others in the same boat! i have been feeling like i'm just doing something wrong, because other people's babies seem so much easier. but i guess it's just her personality. i love haven, and i love being a mommy, but she is so exhausting.

she will only nap if i hold her the entire time (i've tried every swaddle, swing, etc). she nurses every 2 hours round the clock. she will only play in her crib long enough for me to take a quick shower, and then that's it for the day. all other times if i'm not within touching distance she cries. my house is a wreck because i can't get any time unattached to her to do housework. i've tried wearing her while i clean, but she struggles and cries and at 20lbs she's beyond the point where i can clean in spite of the fit throwing. the grocery store is an ordeal. there were a few weeks where she'd ride in the cart, but the novelty has worn off and i have to carry her in the sling while i shop. i can barely cook dinner...and even then i end up eating sandwiches a lot of nights. we have to change rooms and activities about every 20 minutes all day long or she gets cranky. it's a little better on days when we can get out of the house to the park or to run an errand, but still just as tiring for me. she fusses when i change her, or put clothes on her. she fusses when i get a phone call, even if i keep her in my lap and smile at her while i'm on the phone. all she wants to do is dive for the phone and try to eat it...that seems to be her way of interacting with everything. it all goes in the mouth, and i am constantly fishing stuff out of her mouth or even having to pat her back to get something out of her throat...grass, paper, the tv remote, clothing, anything she can reach goes strait to the mouth. she just wears me out. oh, and she is teething.

i see other moms who have clean (i'm not talking spotless, just able to be seen by company without grossing them out) houses, and who cook every night and are able to put on makeup in the mornings, and i am in awe and filled with jealousy. i'm currently a single parent because my husband is in the military and deployed overseas.

i am glad of the parenting choices i have made, to co-sleep and breastfeed and follow her lead on how much contact she needs, but it is really hard sometimes. my in-laws are convinced, and like to tell me, that she is so high needs because of the attachment parenting. my own family is supportive of my parenting, but none of them ever had really high needs babies so they don't really understand why "wear her in the sling while you clean" is not helpful. sometimes i fantasize about letting her CIO and getting a full night of sleep and having a clean house, but then i feel so horrible and guilty for even fantasizing about it. i end up feeling like i'm failing as a mom because i can't get the very basics accomplished. i hate a dirty house, especially since it restricts safe play space. i miss cooking real food and creative recipes rather than throwing something together one-handed while i hold dd.

as long as she has body contact with me 100% of the time, she is a very sweet and happy baby. she almost never cries in public, as long as i hold her constantly, and is consistently ahead of schedule with milestones. but by the time she goes to bed at night i feel like a popped balloon. so yeah, it's nice to know that it's not my fault and that other moms and babies are in the same place.

callahansmama's Avatar callahansmama 09:03 PM 04-08-2011

Wow, Betsy, that must be really hard with your husband away. I feel for you and know that you are stronger than I am because I could never do that in a million years! You should be so proud of yourself and try to take comfort in knowing that so many others are in the same boat.


It's hard to keep a clean house here too! Mine looks deceivingly tidy but it is by no means clean. I would not want to hazard a guess at the last time I seriously cleaned any part of my house lol! I use a lot of lysol wipes on surfaces we touch a lot and if the dishes are done by the time dinner rolls around again, I'm happy. My son is over 23 pounds and it's hard to do housework with him too but I have an Ergo carrier and at least he can't struggle too much in there - he just pulls my hair if he's on my back and grabs my bottom lip if he's on the front! Is it an option to have cleaning lady come once every two weeks or something? I am thinking of doing that myself. A lot of times I just surrender and play with him on the floor all day and get nothing much done. But at least I am not struggling with him and he is happy when we are playing for the most part.


My big problem right now with Callahan is that he's so rough! I watch a friend's daughter part time and she's older than him but tiny, tiny and he constantly grabs her and pulls her hair and tries to take her pacifier - over and over and over...I try to tell him that he's made her sad and to get him to look at her and I try to redirect him but he keeps going back for her. I am really hoping he grows out of this or that when he can understand what I am saying, he'll learn to be kinder. He is always smiling at her when he does these things so I don't think he has any idea he is hurting her or what that even means.


I am thinking of going back to work in the fall when Callahan is 16 months old. I would be teaching morning kindergarten so he would only be at daycare from 8-12. A friend who also has a high needs baby told me it was the best thing she could have done when she went back to work because by the time her daughter was 12 months old she was crying everyday and feeling so stressed out. She says she can enjoy her daughter so much more now. Do any of you mamas work out of the home? Planning to go back? I'll hopefully be home again on mat leave with my second baby if all goes well getting pregnant in Nov./Dec.

pinkmonkey's Avatar pinkmonkey 07:01 AM 04-10-2011
Wow why didn't I read this thread before? lol
My DD is Charlotte & she was born March 8, 2010.
She is very "spirited" but she's also tons of fun.
She is into everything imaginable & unimaginable & gets very mad when you try to stop her. She does what I call the "toddler legs" limp noodle bend, I know every one of you know what I'm talking about lol.
Changing her diaper is a nightmare, she twists & turns, arches her back so much that she's standing on her head. That or she rolls over, stands up & runs across the bed laughing lol. Usually with poop all over her butt.

Wiping her nose & face is near impossible. She throws things, bites the floor or anything nearby.

When she's upset she doesn't start out with just a small warning cry, she goes straight into the "I'm going to trick mommy into thinking I'm in serious pain" cry.

She is a very funny girl though, and smart. Even though she's a major handful we all have a blast taking care of her, teaching her and playing with her.
My mama said it's like watching me when I was that age lol.
Calliope84's Avatar Calliope84 02:49 PM 04-11-2011

Things have gotten much better with her. We have successfully stopped saying adjectives like grumpy and fussy and we have replaced them with spirited and sensitive. It has made the way we feel toward her much more positive. We pretty much always just say she is sensitive. She feels things intensely and needs help dealing with her emotions. Things have gotten 100x better since she learned how to sit. She starting sitting / propping herself up at 3 months and by 4 months can sit unassisted for a very long time unless she lunges forward into "crawl" position or occasionally falls back (I keep a boppy pillow around her, though, usually.) She stays interested in her toys for a long time and will work on them / play with them while I do other things. Sometimes I just play with her, though. She is such a fantastic baby! I mean... she wears me out sometimes on her tough days but I love seeing her eyes light up. Grocery shopping used to be impossible, but today we went and I wore her and showed her all the fruit and food and told her the names and she was reaching out for it and feeling it. 


One thing I would like to work on is finding a way to help her to take her naps. She actually takes really good ones if we stay at the house all day. Maybe 4 or 5 hours somewhere between 12-5pm. Sometimes she misses that time period, though and gets really overtired. Also, she ONLY will take these long naps in her swing. I need her to learn how to sleep in her crib, or even in our bed by herself. Every time I get up to pee at night (2-3 times, if she wakes me to eat usually) she will WAIL as soon as she realizes I am not next to her anymore. That needs to stop because it wakes DH up. I am not sure if I should try to put her to sleep in our bed to start or nurse her down and place her in the crib, or if I should just wait awhile. She has begun falling asleep in our arms at times which she never used to do. She seems to be getting more comfortable sleeping without always nursing. If anyone has advice on this, please share!


The other problem we have is that DH can't handle it when she starts her hysterical wailing she does some times. He really can't. He gives her to me and leaves the room, or puts a pillow over his head. I am afraid he will just put her down in the swing or something and leave her there if I leave her alone with him. I really need to go get a haircut and go to the dentist but I don't feel comfortable leaving her yet! She also has some bad stranger anxiety. She starts crying hysterically if anyone holds her too long that isn't me or DH. She even does this to my sister and my sister has been around almost every week since her birth. I don't know what to do about this...


I truly believe that if we were not practicing Attachment Parenting everything would be a mess right now. AP has given me the tools I need to try to understand her and take care of her better. My mom sometimes says I "created this problem", but DD has been like this since birth and I think everything would be worse if I did my mom's method of "detached" parenting.

So... How the heck can I get a haircut? I really really need one!

mamadiamond's Avatar mamadiamond 07:48 PM 04-11-2011

erinn - haven is pretty violent too, though i think it's just a combination of being insanely curious and excitable and having muscles and nerves that aren't fully under control yet. when she gets excited i get socked in the face, or scratched, or have my hair grabbed. i'm trying to figure out how to help her learn to be gentle without telling her "no", since she is only flailing around and hurting me because she's so happy to be in my lap. i don't want to say "no" to that! but i do need to not get a black eye from her excitement. she's never been around another baby her age, so i don't know how she will do. we're about to go see her 2.5 year old cousin, but he is huge and pretty independent so i don't know how much they will play together.


bethany - my dd wakes up if i get out of bed too, but i've started keeping a small cylinder shaped bolster pillow by the bed and when i get up i sort of roll away and immediately slip the pillow in beside her so she doesn't notice i'm gone and wake up. it's also the only way she'll go to sleep on her own. when i put her down in the bed at night i put a firm pillow on either side, and make sure she's swaddled so she doesn't startle, and it usually works...though she has to be totally passed out before i can put her down or else she'll wake up and see that i'm leaving and freak out.


had a few extremely rough days the past few days. it usually takes about 40 minutes of cuddling and nursing to get haven to bed at night, but saturday night it took 2.5 hours of walking and singing and bouncing while she screamed. by the time she was asleep i felt like i'd just survived d-day. allergies have kicked in with a vengeance, and stomped all over sleep habits. she's taking 30 minute naps rather than 2 hour ones, which makes her cranky all day (the runny nose and itchy eyes make her cranky too, of course), and sleeping shorter times at night. and to compound things, tomorrow we are leaving for a month to visit family. so god only knows what the new environment and people will do to her sleep. last time we took a trip she was too young to really notice being in a new place. i'm keeping my fingers crossed that she does alright. and at least i won't be worrying about housework, and i'll have family who want to take turns holding her and playing with her...assuming she will let them. she's starting to get some pretty bad separation anxiety. i'm hoping for the best. if nothing else, it will be a much needed emotional break for me.


FarrenSquare's Avatar FarrenSquare 10:27 PM 04-11-2011

Oh my gosh, I do have a high maintenance baby. All this time I just thought it was just me being lousy, and joking about him being tough to handle sometimes... but that list just described my baby! He is so sensitive and so indepedant already, I envy anyone who nurses their little one down to sleep - we have to bounce and bounce for hours, trade off sometimes. At night he only sleeps well if he is GLUED next to me. Don't get me wrong I love the cuddles but mama would like to spread out and cuddle into the duvet now and then! Complaining about this gets comments like "Put him in a crib in his own room already!" He is barely 5 months old!



To the mama who said her LO only tolerates the ergo for 1/2 hour: Have you tried a hip carry? I start out hip carry then when he gets fussy, transition to front carry and nurse / bounce until he is down! Then sweet sweet (limited) freedom!

P.J.'s Avatar P.J. 09:01 AM 04-12-2011

Hi ladies, I'm back! Welcome to the new mamas, I'm so happy you're here! joy.gif


I've added the new folks to the list on the first post...if I've got any info wrong please just let me know and I'll correct it. Also, I only add new posters who give me info to add. Anyone is welcome to post, and if you want to be added to that list please include the info and I will add you.


I would like to make a detailed response to the recent posts, but alas I don't have the time. Max is sleeping and he usually only naps for 30 minutes so I have to go soon and start dinner. Suffice it to say I relate to so so much of what you all have shared! And the only specific response is about the cleaning lady: YES and YES!!!! Having a cleaning lady come here once a week is a very essential component to my sanity since Max was born. Our house is still a wreck, but that's only because of our pack-ratishness. I am on a major decluttering mission and slowly I am chipping away at getting rid of old crap and making more space. But at least with the cleaning lady, I know that once a week the floors get mopped and everything gets a good thorough wipe-down. I try to clean as I go throughout the week, but I cannot do the thorough, focused job a cleaning person can. So I say: if you can afford it, do it! You won't regret it!!!


Max has taken developmental leaps and bounds lately. He is morphing into a toddler before my eyes. Can't walk yet, but he is so much more communicative and interactive than ever before! He is also very social and seems to always be interested in other kids.

Part of this developmental leap is that he is now into EVERYTHING. We have to totally re-babyproof our house (not easy amongst all the clutter, lol!). Also, going to the supermarket is harder than ever as he insists on grabbing everything, and screaming when I take something out of his hand. I always try to find something to give him, but when he gets bored of it he throws it and fusses again.


I so want to chat more with you mamas, but I must go try to get something done before he wakes up again! He's being pretty needy today and I don't think I'll get anything done once he's up.

1stTimeMama4-4-10's Avatar 1stTimeMama4-4-10 11:40 PM 04-14-2011

My DD is also high needs - has been since birth.  We struggled really hard with it for the first few months and finally settled into our roles as parents of a high needs child.  Yesterday she had her first fever and it was sooooo sad to see because I got a glimpse of what a "normal" baby might be like.  DD cuddled calmly with me all night long. She nursed and cuddled and that was it.  She didn't fight me when I took her clothes off, changed her diaper, put her in the bath, took a rectal temp., dressed her, and hung out watching TV.  Normally every one of these things would have been a drawn out struggle and yesterday she just wanted to cuddle and not move.  It was heartbreaking because it just ISN'T HER.  She is incredibly active and very frequently needs us to be doing things with her (as opposed to passively watching). She never cuddles, but wants to be picked up all the time (then put down within seconds).  Anything that remotely resembles restraint is met with a full fledged battle.  She is a fiercely independent little soul and I could not be more proud.  I take some credit because I think part of her ability to be so independent is that she knows we are always here for her and she feels safe to be on her own (as in plays by herself in the same room). Last night just broke my heart.  She's all better today though!  All that is to say that as hard as it was for us to adjust to her needs, now that it is our "normal" I wouldn't want it any other way.

Calliope84's Avatar Calliope84 10:35 AM 05-08-2011

Avalon learned to crawl! She is 5 months 1 week now.  She is so much happier now that she can move more. She still qualifies as "high needs" but we are getting better at understanding what she needs and now she can communicate better, too. She grabs onto me if she is done playing on the floor and will grab my shirt and try to get in if she wants milk.  I say "Do you want milk" at other times and she makes this very distinct sound in response when she does want it.


Two times now we have been out for 6-9 hours. Two weeks ago we were at a car dealership all day and then last weekend we did a trip out to the farm. Both times we got compliments on what a good baby she is!  And people are right. She is a good baby. At the dealership and farm we obviously kept her in arms all day long, which she loves (but not wearing her all the time, because she doesn't always want to be worn.) I fed her when she was hungry and tried to help her nap when she was tired. I removed her from the group and went somewhere quiet if I thought she needed it. The only problem I run into at home is usually that I can't always hold her - like when I need to go to the bathroom or cook something hot. I actually planted an 8 x 8 garden this week and she has consistently been playing for 30-40 minutes all by herself with her toys and moving around the floor. She spent a long time in her activity center thingy I have for her that I brought outside and when she got bored I put her in a pouch and continued to plant onions with her hanging out watching me from her pouch. She still gets nervous around strangers, but if I am holding her and they talk to her she doesn't cry right away. I left her alone in the stroller last night and some neighbors tried to talk to her and she cried until I came over to her and calmed her. 


She actually slept in next to DH the other morning for an hour and I got some alone time, too. I enjoy how bright and intense she is... she is learning so much and it is so fun to watch! So, for the moment I feel really good about everything and I know it could get hard again during different stages but right now things are good. ;)


The other thing I did was give up computers, video games and TV for about 6 days.... I discovered I actually have way more time to get things done than I thought I did. That is how I managed to get a garden planted! So... I need to set up limits for myself, like computer only 3x a week or something because then I can get other stuff done and not feel overwhelmed.

Zenmama1's Avatar Zenmama1 07:09 PM 09-25-2011

Is this group still going? This is the last thread I have found.

Calliope84's Avatar Calliope84 10:18 PM 09-25-2011

Originally Posted by Bocamom View Post

Is this group still going? This is the last thread I have found.

Yeah, I was wondering, too. I have a spirited toddler now, but she has gotten waaaaaay better now that she walks.

Zenmama1's Avatar Zenmama1 10:00 PM 09-26-2011
It looks like it's just you and me ... We can start our own group lol smile.gif
Maybe all these moms are too busy chasing after their spirited babies to keep this group going. I can totally relate to that. My DD is latched on right now... What did moms ever do without an iPhone. So you said your DD is a toddler now and things are better. That's good to know, cause my DD is 8 mo and I'm wondering when it gets easier. We are also struggling with food allergies so that adds more stress.

But I think what bothers me most right now is that I feel very isolated. I have met a bunch of new moms, but have a hard time because their babies are easy. So they don't get it when I have to leave because I can't just put her down for a nap at their house, or let her nap in the car. Or that if we miss a nap the rest of my day will be miserable because my LO will be miserable. And i feel too embarrassed to tell them i have to lay down next to her when she naps. They also don't get that I have to nurse her in a quiet place because if there is any distraction it leads to milk all over the place and I feel sore from the head turning while she is latched. Ouch!

I wish I could form a HN playgroup but the moms would probably find it difficult to get together.

What about you... How did you survive the early years?

My husband thinks we have spoiled her with our AP style and that is the reason she is HN Do you think there is any truth to that?
lilikoi's Avatar lilikoi 07:18 PM 09-27-2011

I will join in! My DD is almost 9 months. I am actually laying next to her right now so she can nap a little longer. I have to say, the hardest thing for me is having family members with easy babies. They all think DD is spirited because of something I did. I used to feel horrible. She wakes up every hour all night long and has been doing since she was 5 months old. ILs used to tell me to just put her down while she was sleepy but still awake and not nurse her to sleep. Yeah right. It takes a lot of nursing, singing, shushing, rocking for her to go down. She always screamed really loud and wanted to nurse constantly. DH still thinks she is the way because of breast feeding. It drives me crazy. She is a lot of work, but I just love how alert and interested in everything she is. My mother said I was the same way as a baby, so there you have it. :)

Zenmama1's Avatar Zenmama1 08:17 PM 09-27-2011

Originally Posted by lilikoi View Post

I will join in! My DD is almost 9 months. I am actually laying next to her right now so she can nap a little longer. I have to say, the hardest thing for me is having family members with easy babies. They all think DD is spirited because of something I did. I used to feel horrible.

Ok, its good to know I am not the only one who lays down with their baby to nap - if I do this she naps for 2 hours at a time and sleeps through the night except for a few brief nursings. But if I dont lay next to her I get 30 minutes tops. So I'd rather get the 2 hours. I do get the comments from family members like "you need to get her used to noise" or "you need to get her used to sleeping in different places." what they dont understand is that its just her personality. I am a light sleeper too, so I guess she gets it from me. And I cant blame her for wanting a warm body next to her when she sleeps. I mean who wouldnt want that, right?