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DS is 7.5mo and high needs, and it's taken every ounce of my energy in those last 7.5 months to keep up with his demands. Everyone always remarks what a delightful, happy, sociable baby he is, but if they could witness the behind-the-scenes tightwire act it requires to make/keep him happy, they wouldn't be so quick to dismiss my claims that he is, indeed, a handful. I'm committed to AP, but my LO is sucking the life-force from me. I need time to take care of myself, or I'm going to go insane. My health is suffering and my anxiety levels are through the roof. I feel like I'm falling apart! In addition to being run ragged by my baby, I think I might also have postpartum depression or at the very least postpartum anxiety disorder.<br><br>
Last night my mom insisted that I need to do CIO. She told me how when my oldest sister was a baby, her doctor instructed my mom to do a CIO schedule to enforce "me time" for the both of them for an hour a day. You "lock" baby away in his/her own, safe space (room, playpen or crib) and leave them alone for 5-10-15 minutes at a time until they can play quietly for an hour. LO is expected to cry the whole time until they "get it" and start to entertain themselves and not cry for Mama. My DH thinks it's a great idea. It breaks my heart to even entertain the thought. I know my DS is not the kind of child who would take kindly to this experiment, and I'm not the kind of mom who feels comfortable with CIO at all. AT ALL. (i know this is a sensitive subject and I don't want to judge parenting styles, but <i>for me personally,</i> I have chosen intuitive parenting centered around the individuality of my own child and our family dynamic.)<br><br>
If I have to hear "just let him cry" one more time, I'm really going to lose it. He already cries ALL DAY LONG, unless he's in my arms, on me, or within reach of me (and sometimes even then.... he just cries a lot). I DO "let him cry" -- most of the time I have no choice -- he's going to cry when I put him down, when I leave a room, when he's in his carseat, while I'm fixing meals or doing chores or using the bathroom, etc. He cries, and I talk to him, sing to him, make eye contact, surround him with healthy distractions, and reassure him that I'm there and he's okay. But no one else hears that. It's just the 2 of us most of the time. DS is only 7.5 months old. He's still an infant. He's too young to be "spoiled" or "manipulative." I don't appreciate the "he needs to learn that life isn't fair/he can't always get what he wants/the world is a cruel place," etc. because *I* am his world and I won't betray his trust and reliance on me by being unfair and/or cruel, and frankly, he DOESN'T get what he wants, as evidenced by his constant cries of protest. I provide boundaries and try to teach him patience. He's just so busy, intense, determined, forceful, vocal, clingy and sensitive. DH and I are surrounded by people who don't believe in the "high need" classification of babies and imply that we're either exaggerating our situation or just can't hack the rigors of parenthood. As DS's primary caregiver this is particIularly insulting and hurtful to me, and not the most pleasant thing to hear on my first Mother's Day.<br><br>
So, after a very emotional discussion with my DH, I'm desperate to find an AP-friendly alternative to this little CIO experiment. There's got to be a better way. As hard as it is to admit that I need "me" time (I'm not at a point where I feel comfortable indulging in "selfish" luxuries like daily showers or a balanced diet at the expense of my son's emotional development), the fact is, my health is suffering and if I don't take care of myself, no one else will. When I ask DH to help, he "helps" by letting DS CIO while I take my "me" time, and it just stresses me out even more.<br><br>
Any advice? What works for you?
 

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Oh gosh. Sounds like you certainly have your hands full!<br><br>
I'm sorry I don't have better advice. My DS is not High Needs, so I don't have first-hand experience, but my sister's little one is absolutely high needs and I witnessed the struggles and joys of my sister's motherhood journey. Her daughter is now 2.<br><br>
I'm SURE that some experienced mamas on here will give you some type of good tips!<br><br>
I do know that Dr. Sears strongly suggests in his Babies book that mamas get to shower and eat properly, etc. He tells the story of how his wife commented one day that she didn't even have time to shower b/c the baby needed her so much and Dr. Sears made sure then that his wife got her needs met. You've got to "sharpen the sword" as they say and you are working so hard caring so well for your baby. You DESERVE to shower/eat right!<br><br>
Might you show hubby some research to back up no CIO? Might you appeal to his sympathy and get him to just appease you and keep DS happy for the 20 minutes you take a hot shower?<br><br>
I'm sorry I can't offer any real words of wisdom. But I'm glad you reached out on here. I'm certain someone will have some valuable experience to share with you.<br><br>
HANG IN THERE. Sending hugs to you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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First of all big hugs mama!!!! And you are definately doing the RIGHT thing by not letting your dc CIO! (nak) so I won't get into all the terrible side effects of CIO, but there are many!!!!! Ds is high needs and I know how extremely draining it is!!!! The only 'me' time I get are the two days a week I have to go in and teach and my mom watches him. I am sorry you do not have a support system irl who understands 'AP'. That can be tough. But you are doing the right thing by meeting the needs of your child, but you do need to take care of yourself.... Sort of like on the airplane: you put your oxygen mask on first so you have the ability to put on your child's. I suggest looking into dome counseling/ professional help for potential pp depression. That can be debilitating and should be addressed. Also, in the mean time, dh should (NEEDS) to help out!!! Dh had a hard time with ds up until about 9/10 months. But I just kept pushing and saying, if you don't give me 20 minutes to bathe myself- I'll snap!!!!! I still don't get more than 20-25 minutes of 'me' time with dh watching ds, but it is a bit better now that ds can 'respond' more to dh (ie: play). Also, is your dc mobile? Once ds got really good at crawling a cruising he was much much happier when put down for more than 5 minutes at a time.<br>
Good luck, and please get some help, both from dh with your dc and from a professional for post partum depression!!!!
 

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Well... My DS is 15mos old and the same way, very high-needs, very intense... I'd imagine I *might* get a little me time if I wasn't WAH but even then I'd probably be doing housework or something... I use nursing time as 'me time' (right now he is nursing while I type) and nap time I usually am working but on weekends I can read or go online while he naps in my lap. I have DH do baths with him so I can watch a few minutes of TV or whatever... and maybe once a month or so I will go out shopping for an hour or two by myself (I may start doing this more often, it's very refreshing!) DH is not interested in letting DS CIO so at least I know even if he's crying, DH is trying to calm him, play with him, etc. Maybe you can try to get your DH on the same page and show him some of the anti-CIO research and explain why you don't want to do CIO? I don't know WHAT I'd do if DH was telling me to do that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I ignore everyone else, my mom or whoever will say 'let him cry' and I tell them No, he spends so much time crying even when I'm trying to do everything right, I'm NOT going to let him cry when I don't have to!! He spends 20 hours a day crying, I'm not about to make that 21 hours!<br><br>
If you can get your DH on board with you, that could make a huge difference. You could leave the house and know your DS will be loved & taken care of (even if he might cry since you're not there), and you could have DH take over some things. From the minute DH gets home at 5:30, he is the go-to parent for things. Diaper? Go see daddy! Want a snack? Go see daddy!! DH gets him ready for bed too... all those things allow me to do at least a little of what *I* want to do and get a bit of a break. But it's hard and when you have a high-needs kid you always feel like you're doing something wrong and always question yourself even when you know you're doing what's best for your DC.
 

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First of all I totally understand. I wouldn't say that my kid is super high needs, but he cries if I try to leave the room and he usually needs to be touching me. Add to that the fact that he only sleeps in half-hour increments and I am the only one who can put him back to sleep...well, I don't shower much either.<br><br>
But it sounds to me like your real problem here is your DH not respecting your parenting style. Because it is so important to be able to take some time for yourself would your DH be more receptive to not trying CIO if you presented it as something you need him to do for you instead of something for the kid? In other words tell him that you need time but you feel like you can't leave DS with him unless he won't try CIO because it really bothers you. If mommy cracks the whole family goes down, so I would think this a reasonable request.<br><br>
If he refuses to be reasonable is there a third neutral party that could watch DS for an hour here and there? Could you get a mother's helper? I know I am having trouble with this because my kid wants me or DH and thats it...but perhaps it is different in your case.
 

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Wow, I so know just how you feel. I just posted today about my 9 month old who is the exact same way. I have nothing to offer but I couldn't read and not respond... hugs to you... and to me too.
 

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<span>I totally understand what you're saying.<br><br>
Know that it will get better! My uber-high needs DD is now 5 1/2 and a completely delightful child!<br><br>
My husband worked long hours and wasn't available to help much.<br><br>
Here are some things that helped for me:<br><br>
I joined Curves and my MIL cared for DD while I went. I knew that DD would cry a lot (and she did) but I felt so much more capable to care for her upon my return. That was an hour every other day.<br><br>
When DH was home, he would wear baby or pace with her, because she really only wanted me. I would go to another part of the house where I couldn't hear her if she cried. If your husband is wearing baby, even if baby is crying, it's not really CIO. I totally agree with camomile girl.<br><br>
And evenings--it was hard because I would nurse baby down in our bed and she would be completely asleep, and when I would try to inch out of bed, she would wake up immediately. Grrr...I just kept trying it and trying it until finally I could get up after she was asleep.<br><br>
That was a relief to have evenings free. I'd have to nurse her again after I went to bed of course, but I did get a few free hours in the evening. And the training, <i>was</i> a long a process, but eventually...<br><br>
It is SO hard right now, honey, I know. High needs children can't be left at the nursery at church or moms groups or the gym, ect; it feels like you'll always have to be attached to this baby.<br><br>
And talk to your midwife about your PPD symptoms. Please.</span>
 

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My son is high needs too. Probably not as much as your son but high needs nevertheless. I can't leave him with ANYONE but DH. Even then he gets pretty whiny while I am gone but usually he isn't hysterical like he is with anyone else. My only suggestion would be keep encouraging the daddy time.. not to CIO but daddy needs to learn to comfort baby his own way and baby needs to learn that he can relax and be comforted by daddy to some extent. I encourage my husband to wear our son.. in the Moby or Ergo, to snuggle with him, bathe him, change him etc. Obviously 99% of his time is with me since I stay at home with him but sometimes he he bangs his head or whatever ( he is mobile and gets into trouble lol) I let dh pick him up and soothe him ( or at least try).<br>
Ds sleeps in his crib 85% of the time.. sometimes when he ends up in our bed I nurse him and then give him to Dh to snuggle and sleep with.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br>
Its hard though. I don't get enough me time either because at the end of the day I am spent!!!! My only time away is 1 hour a week I go to yoga.. but thats exercise and not exactly relaxing with my feet up if you know what I mean? On weekends Dh is great about helping out but the baby still needs me every second it seems.
 

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My daughter is high needs and my husband travels M-F. My me time is an hour in evening after she's asleep, and some time on the weekeds when DH is on staff full time. Right now, I'm napping with her during the day because the extra sleep helps me function and get through the night which is full of wakings.<br><br>
During the day, she needs to be touching me, crawling on me, pulling up on me, and interacting with me or she's screaming bloody murder. I'm just so "touched" out. I'd like to have my body back, at least for a little bit.<br><br>
Things that I have found that recharge me for a week or two is a professional massage or some small personal care thing like painting your toes, or taking an extra long shower.<br><br>
Speaking of showers... I can enjoy my showers more now that I just bring her in with me and let her play at the bottom of the tub. She loves it, has fun, and I can relax in some warm water for awhile. Then she plays with some "special" toys on the floor outside the bathroom door while I dry my hair.<br><br>
I definitely have mommy melt down weeks when she is at her absolute worst. But that are usually when I have gotten zero sleep.<br><br>
Good luck, mama. Try reading the Dr Sears "The Fussy Baby Book". It helps.
 

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This is probably not the answer you want to hear, but here it goes. My daughter would not let me put her down, ever. When she started getting around I still had to be within a couple of feet or less or else. I did find once she was crawling if I kept very busy cooking or cleaning she was more content. The second I stopped or sat down she wanted to have all my attention, so there is that.<br><br>
Anyway, really it came down to the fact that she got all my attention for a good 18 months. It got better in ways during that time, but as it is with kids it would get harder in other ways. But, at 18 months she no longer demanded me constantly and you know what. I miss it. I thought I would go crazy at the time, but we had so much good quality time together. Now I have another child and she is more independent and it just won't ever be like that again.<br><br>
I think because she had to have my attention I did more things with her to help her have a great start in the world. She spoke earlier than her friends were are the same age and was just as smart as can be. Probably from the hours and hours of reading, singing, drawing, etc.<br><br>
Yes, it meant the house was a mess often. It meant I only showered at night when my husband was home. It meant I couldn't declutter the house or reorganize or any other the massive list of things that I thought I just had to do. The time passed and I am actually grateful to her that she forced me to set my priorities strait. After all she was what was most important. Of course my sanity is most important actually, but I got by.<br><br>
As far as CIO I do feel that may work for some kids, not that I think it's good, but I think some kids will adapt to it and eventually the parent will get them to play on their own whether or not it's good for them. My daughter was not one of those kids. She would have just gotten more clingy, needy, and upset. I just know that based on her temperament. Now she is a lovely smart and secure 3 year old. I think if I had pushed her too much out of her comfort zone instead of letting her mature at her own pace she would have more issues now.<br><br>
I have another baby and part of me is sad that he isn't as demanding because his life is just going by in a blur while I still spend most of my time with his sister. Though I am grateful he is calm because I am not sure how I could deal with two high needs kids. I guess I would find the gifts in that as well.
 

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oh Mamas <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat"><br>
it is such a comfort just reading your kind words and to know it's not "just me" ...I feel vindicated somehow.<br><br>
I talked to DH about helping me out with the baby when I need some time to take care of myself. He's been very supportive of my parenting style and AP so far, but he has also expressed that he thinks I don't separate DS's needs from wants, that I cave in to the "wants" far too frequently (and I let them get to me too much), and that I'm over-protective and too high-strung. I certainly know the difference between needs and wants, but I also know the difference between a tired, whiny cry and an urgent, distressed cry when "all he wants" is his Mama. And what's so wrong with wanting Mama? As far as I'm concerned if DS's "I want my Mama" cry escalates to high intensity, he's communicating a need that must be addressed. And I feel like maybe I wouldn't be so high-strung if DH would be as attentive to DS's needs as I am. Although I do get very panicky when anyone -- and I do mean anyone, even DH or grandma -- takes the baby. I can't even enjoy time away from DS, I get separation anxiety and I imagine the worst possible things happening to him; even DH carrying the baby down the stairs or across a parking lot is a huge stressor for me. And DS also has a hard time being alone with Dad; he fusses a lot and DH gets easily frazzled by it, which is why he gives up and just lets the baby cry.<br><br>
Anyway... this thread isn't here for marriage counseling -- and it may seem like I've painted DH in some pretty dark colors but he really is a supportive husband and a loving dad -- we just had an emotional weekend away from home and the CIO advice from my mother last night really upset me and DH was trying to help me work through it. I just didn't like hearing some of the things he had to say, that's all.<br><br>
Bottom line is that I'm not well and can't afford to carry on like this anymore. So now that it's springtime and we have some pleasant weather, DH has agreed to take baby for walks in the stroller so I can have the time I need to look after myself, all the while knowing that DS is safe and happy (DS loves walks to the park). I'm lucky to have that option, and looking forward to trying it out.<br><br>
Thanks again for all your help. You all are lovely. I came to the right place!
 

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hugs emily!!! i'm right here with ya. i also do nursing time as 'me' time but it's getting more and more difficult because she's so distractable. she now reaches around behind her and grabs keyboard or kicks it with her feet <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><br><br>
natalie was the same way, so was my oldest. last night, millie cried on the sofa while i went pee. i hadn't peed since 2 pm and this was at midnight. my dh is pretty much worthless because he can't stand to hear her cry. she will cry the millisecond someone else looks at her! she's getting better about being in her high chair and eating puffs or cheerios while i cook, but i can't take too long.<br><br>
the carseat is a NIGHTMARE. and dh wants to take a 5 hr car trip at the end of the month! he thinks i can just nurse her while he drives ?!?!?!?! yea. fun. not to mention that this 'vacation' is his. he will expect me to pack the kids down there and take care of them and their needs while he visits with his family. really no different than while we are at home, except he won't be on the phone with them he will be in their living room and i'll be expected to care for the kids and make them be quiet. ugh.<br><br>
my dh is very supportive of ap and no cio and bf...he tells me to do it and that he supports me. last night, i wanted to jab his eyes out. i had oral surgery yesterday and he DID take the girls while i was having the procedure done, but after that it was business as usual. i had to get up this a.m. and clean up the kitchen because no one did it and last night millie screamed at me until after 1 am.<br><br>
i does get better. natalie was about 2 before she started really liking being here. she just wasn't very good at being a baby and neither is millie. i think it's because they are so darn smart that being trapped in that body that can't do anything just pi$$e$ them off!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s and thinking of you!
 

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Hi there,<br>
I'm glad you feel supported. And you definitely didn't paint DH in dark colors for me, anyway. I know my DH and I differ on parenting ideas and that's OK.<br><br>
I didn't adress this in my original post, but it bears addressing, I think: It absolutely STINKS when an influential person (MIL, your own mother, etc) expresses opposition to what you are doing, parenting-wise. As a parent, especially a new one, you're just dangling out there in the wide open for people to feel free to judge you. Everyone has advice for you and it seems everyone wants you to do thing the way they did it! Even if you are the most self-confident person, for some reason it can "get to you" when this happens.<br><br>
I posted a month or so ago about how devistated I was when my MIL strongly expressed her (ahem) displeasure with our DS cosleeping with us. Totally threw me for a loop for days!<br><br>
Anyway, do take care of yourself.
 

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I hear you on this one! My first ds was a handful and very high needs. Fortunately my dh was totally on board with no CIO and our AP parenting style. I would hand ds off to dh the moment he came home. Even though I generally spent that time preparing dinner, it was so nice to have my hands and arms free.<br>
I would usually shower when dh was home in the evening.<br>
I would eat with ds in the wrap or on my lap. I usually ate something left over from dinner for lunch. Another reason I made time to make a healthy dinner.<br>
It was around 6 months that I told dh I had to get out and have some time for myself. I started taking yoga classes once a week and that was a huge relief for me. I knew that ds might cry but if he was crying in his daddy's arms than that was okay. It was tough with the first to let dh find his own way of parenting, but you've got to let it happen (obviously coming to an agreement on no CIO). It is easier, I think, to let this happen when you are away from the house and not hovering over how your dh is handling it.
 
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