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

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#1 of 12 Old 12-17-2009, 11:39 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 12 Old 12-17-2009, 11:51 AM
 
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You might want to venture over to the special needs forum, a lot of moms over there have experienced this. From what I've read, babies that start out like this end up often being diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). She sounds like she is a sensory seeker in a lot of ways (always wanting to be facing out, even hitting milestones early might be her way of seeking out sensory input) but she also might have some sensory avoidance (which might be showing up in her recent sleep issues...maybe something is overwhelming to her and she can't shut her brain off). The sleep problem could be seeking behavior, also, I wonder if a 4 month old can use a weighted blanket?? Maybe, if she's as strong and mobile as you say she is.

Wow, crawling at 4 months????!!

There are lots of books that might give you some insight, one I've heard a lot about is "The Out Of Synch Child" (I think that's the title, something like that). The book that helped us with our oldest was "Raising Your Spirited Child". My oldest is definitely "spirited", an extreme extrovert, a bit of a sensory seeker, and very reactive to foods (as in behaviorally reactive). Parenting him has been a challenge, to say the least!!

Anyway, try over in special needs. Give details about her birth (how early she was), how long she was in the NICU, what her hospitalizations since birth have been, what meds she's on (if any) for her reflux, etc.

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#3 of 12 Old 12-17-2009, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did not know this is considered special needs

That is what the Dr is saying, how her brain is not shutting off since she refuses naps and sleep even though she is overly tired. They never mentioned SPD. I will look into that. I heard about the books you mentioned, the Dr recommended them. Thanks for your advice, and Ill be heading over to that forum.

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 12 Old 12-17-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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I did not know this is considered special needs

That is what the Dr is saying, how her brain is not shutting off since she refuses naps and sleep even though she is overly tired. They never mentioned SPD. I will look into that. I heard about the books you mentioned, the Dr recommended them. Thanks for your advice, and Ill be heading over to that forum.
It might not be special needs, but the moms over in that forum are uber-smart and might have some suggestions. Ian wasn't really high needs as a young infant, it was when he got mobile. We knew by 9 months old that we were going to have our hands full with him. I don't consider him special needs, but if we hadn't learned his triggers and how to manage him (the spirited child book taught us that) then no doubt he'd be labeled ADHD. And probably medicated. But with effort, we can control him and he's a GREAT kid!

Kayla sounds different, her triggers will be different, your management will be different. But your dr was right--she will likely make you rich some day However, only if she learns throughout her childhood how to use her intensity to her benefit.

You might lurk in the gifted forum, too, because these kids are often very gifted. Their brains just work on a different wavelength it seems. I have a brother who has aspergers and his brain just amazes me. His toddler years were horrible, though. He's 12 years younger than me, so I remember it very well. He is definitely gifted. And definitely SPD, in his case almost all avoidance.

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#5 of 12 Old 12-17-2009, 03:34 PM
 
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You might want to venture over to the special needs forum, a lot of moms over there have experienced this. From what I've read, babies that start out like this end up often being diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
this was my 2nd child, our DD. She was definitely high needs, beginning at birth pretty much. She was never happy, cried all day and all night, had to be held or worn and was just overall hard to soothe. She wanted to do things "herself" basically and ofcourse couldn't do that as a tiny baby. She also hit major milestones pretty early, definitley not crawling at 4 mos old (wow!) but she hit a lot of them early and I remember her walking at 10 mos old. She also had problems with sounds and smells for the first few years of her life and didn't listen well when in public, just super hard to take her anywhere. But by age 4 she was doing better and now at 8 is easier, although still can be very strongwilled and stubborn.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#6 of 12 Old 12-17-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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Awww - my first was like this as well. I know it's kind of a dirty word in AP: but schedule schedule schedule. I swear it was the only thing that kept my sanity! And no matter what - don't let her get overtired. Take the FIRST thing she shows you as tired and get her to bed/sleep. Go into her room and don't come out until she goes to sleep. (bc she's smart, she'll learn to manipulate - yes, manipulate - things if she ever 'wins' and doesn't have to go to sleep - yk? Maddie was sitting at 5 months- PULLING UP ON HER CRIB TO STAND at 5 months, and crawling (like really going places) at 6 months. It was pure crazinss!

We had her so scheduled that we didn't go very many places, but she THRIVED bc SHE knew what was going to happen when. She knew when she ate, when she played, when she slept, where we went, what meant bedtime, etc etc etc.

She still doesn't deal well with change, but at 7 is such an amazingly bright and perceptive and senstive and funny and mature girl - I thank my lucky stars to have a kid like her.

Be CONSISTENT - it's gotta be your number one parenting priority! She will respond to it. And I have to add, being mobile was like FREEDOM to her, she was such a fussy baby - and by no means a low needs mover and shaker, but things got MUCH better when she could start DOING, yk?

Julia(34), Mommy to: Maddie(10), Grace(6), Charlotte (3) and our only Little Man (due 2/23). 

It's a crazy life!

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#7 of 12 Old 12-18-2009, 02:28 PM
 
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i really feel for you, vulnerable, you've been through so much! my first ds was a lot like your dd. he was crawling at 4 mos too! at 6 mos he started "walking" on all fours like a primate. could not sleep at all. did not like toys til he was 18 mos. just wanted to be out in nature all the time- only thing that made him happy, and possible b/c we live in south florida. he needed constant change- still does.
he hated everyone but me, dh, and one of his gpa's, who is still obsessed w/ him. hated being in the car/ car seat. hated any confinement. hated diapers. needed SOOOOOOO much physical attention. we were so out of control at first. completely bewildered. we tried the "cry it out" method- complete waste of time, and it served only as a way to indulge in masochistic parenting- it was torture! ds could scream for HOURS w/o tiring, w/o relenting. we broke down much easier.
he was so unstructured, he could not deal with any scheduling. it was a total whirlwind as our first experience in parenting. he didn't chill til he was 2.
our way to deal was to just let him lead the majority of the time. now, almost 4, he is incredible. so smart, confident, compassionate, and trusting of me and dh. and, an absolutely amazing big bro to his 3 mo old baby bro. he acts like a little daddy.
hang in there, mama- she will blow your mind, and fill you with amazement.
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#8 of 12 Old 12-18-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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My oldest was much like this, though I was pretty clueless aout it at the time. She's now 8, and very advances academically, and still drives me batty on a regular basis. I love her, but she's a hard kid to parent sometimes!

We've created a new normal with her- for example- she opted out of having a bed in her room, as she prefers to sleep in a hammock. I pulled her out of public school this year so she could learn at her own pace. She can't ride a bike as the sensory processing stuff gets in the way of balancing, so we're looking at other options. We've tried EVERYTHING- but it's not happening.

Even now- when she's anxious/frustrated she goes way over the top.

However, we did finally find a groove and she's the kid who is always up for anything and who lives to find and share joy in life.
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#9 of 12 Old 12-18-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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sounds like these high needs munckins can be on either end of the spectrum Wanted to just add a few soothing techniques that were money for us. We tried never to let her get too worked up (cio, not an option) bc like the others, she would NEVER give in! I would often have to stand in the bathroom with the fan on while rocking just to get her to drink! Also - if that wouldn't work I would turn on the faucet. If that didn't work, I would take off her socks and dip her little feet in the running water...usually by the time we got to that step, she would start to settle down and we could 'reset' her. She also liked watching traffic (so bizzare, right?)

Hang in there, Mama - it will get better!

Julia(34), Mommy to: Maddie(10), Grace(6), Charlotte (3) and our only Little Man (due 2/23). 

It's a crazy life!

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#10 of 12 Old 12-18-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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She still doesn't deal well with change, but at 7 is such an amazingly bright and perceptive and senstive and funny and mature girl - I thank my lucky stars to have a kid like her.
sounds like my DD to a T. She's so intelligent and mature for her age (I guess allparents say that though) but she's very different than my oldest son.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#11 of 12 Old 12-19-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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My DS was/is very high needs. He has alot of trouble with transitions, has never slept through the night, and as a baby suffered from reflux. In fact, I think the reflux still bothers him at night, and that's why he has major sleep issues.
APing is really the biggest survival tool for me, honestly. He insisted on being held, so I started babywearing out of necessity. Same with cosleeping, BLW, and so many other aspects of parenting "naturally". It was the way he needed to be nurtured, and I believe it's really helped him become more comfortable in his skin. As a baby he was really ambitious too, it was like he resented not being able to communicate or move around. He was frustrated. I know that probably sounds kind of nutty, the idea that a 2 or 3 month old could be frustrated with their limitations, but I really think that's how some kids are. So he was scooching around and sitting independently early, and walking really well at only ten months, and as he became better able to do these things he also became exponentially happier.
Now he's just a whirlwind, always into something. And honestly, I'm so grateful that he was a tough baby, because he demanded I step up and give him my best, and he was the reason I discovered APing and Mothering and Dr. Sears, and that's been such a gift!
It's so tough in the moment, but I promise you it will get better, and she'll be so much fun, and you're going to grow as well. I wish someone had told me that when DS was four months old, it might have helped a bit.
Good luck!

Me + him = DS 01/08 & DD 09/09 X2
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#12 of 12 Old 12-19-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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My DS was/is very high needs. He has alot of trouble with transitions, has never slept through the night, and as a baby suffered from reflux. In fact, I think the reflux still bothers him at night, and that's why he has major sleep issues.
APing is really the biggest survival tool for me, honestly. He insisted on being held, so I started babywearing out of necessity. Same with cosleeping, BLW, and so many other aspects of parenting "naturally". It was the way he needed to be nurtured, and I believe it's really helped him become more comfortable in his skin. As a baby he was really ambitious too, it was like he resented not being able to communicate or move around. He was frustrated. I know that probably sounds kind of nutty, the idea that a 2 or 3 month old could be frustrated with their limitations, but I really think that's how some kids are. So he was scooching around and sitting independently early, and walking really well at only ten months, and as he became better able to do these things he also became exponentially happier.
Now he's just a whirlwind, always into something. And honestly, I'm so grateful that he was a tough baby, because he demanded I step up and give him my best, and he was the reason I discovered APing and Mothering and Dr. Sears, and that's been such a gift!
It's so tough in the moment, but I promise you it will get better, and she'll be so much fun, and you're going to grow as well. I wish someone had told me that when DS was four months old, it might have helped a bit.
Good luck!
I could have written that all myself, about my ds! sounds exactly like him. and so many people tell us now, (he's almost 4) that he's the most amazing kid they've ever met.
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