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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Mama's - I am looking for some advice from you mama's of high needs babes. My kiddos are older (a toddler and a preschooler), and I have never really had to deal with a baby that "needs" a lot. We've practiced AP with them, but because of their personalities, we didn't have to hold them, sleep with them, etc. all of the time. They've both been the type of baby that needs and prefers to be left on their own for periods of time to play.<br><br>
Well, here's my issue. I've agreed to babysit for a friend. They are having some financial problems, can't afford daycare, etc. So, I agreed to do it for her 3 days a week. Apparently, this baby is very high needs. He fits every bit of Dr. Sears description of a high needs baby to a T.<br><br>
He needs to be held constantly.....and I mean <b><i><span style="text-decoration:underline;">constantly</span></i></b>. If I even act like I'm going to sit him down he immediately tenses and starts screaming (I've been watching him since September, so he's used to our house and my kids, it's not like he's still adjusting to the new environment). He won't sit in the highchair to take his meals, on my lap is all that will do. He won't sleep anywhere but in my arms (and DD2 is sick at the moment and needed me a lot yesterday, well, you guessed it, the baby didn't nap AT ALL yesterday). Needless to say, I can't hold him all day. I have two kids of my own to attend to, they need fed, diapers changed, and just attention in general, and I will not neglect their needs because of him. Problem is, I'm one of those people who absolutely can not stand to hear a baby cry, it breaks my heart. So, as you can imagine, I'm getting worn very very thin. I'm at a loss.<br><br>
So, I need some advice from all of you mama's with high needs babies. What can I do to comfort him when I can't hold him (and I should mention that I wear him as much as possible, but I just can't wear him all day). I do not want to back out on my friend, because I know they are in a tough spot financially, but I also can't continue like this. The other thing is this, since they are having some money trouble, and I am fortunate enough to be a SAHM and live a very comfortable life, I compassionately offered to watch him for very very little money. Now, money isn't an issue, I don't need it and feel bad even thinking this, but I feel like the time and energy I am investing in him is not compensated.<br><br>
Please help, any suggestions will be welcomed.<br><br>
ETA: Maybe it will be helpful for you to know that this baby is 10 months old.
 

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The one thing that has saved grace for me is a carrier. A soft shelled carrier or sling will help free your hands up to do things that need to be done.<br><br>
Sounds like the little one needs a lot of reassurance and comfort. Sometimes is takes a child much longer to adjust than we give them time for. It's a lot for a little one to go to a different environment from one they are used to, even if they've been going to that other place for months. They have no sense of time like we do.<br><br>
IIs it possible the little has seperation anxiety (missing his mama and still uncomfortable with her being away from him so he turns to you for his comfort and support?)<br><br>
Another thing that might help is something that distracts the little one, a colorful activity, game, book that makes sounds, or you can play pot & pan drums games (get your pots and pans out, a big wooden spoon or two, get on the floor and start playing loud, happily and make it interesting to peek his interests and see if he comes over and plays with you. Don't force it though)<br><br>
Good Luck,<br>
Sheal
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Sheal</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9862862"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The one thing that has saved grace for me is a carrier. A soft shelled carrier or sling will help free your hands up to do things that need to be done.<br><br>
IIs it possible the little has seperation anxiety (missing his mama and still uncomfortable with her being away from him so he turns to you for his comfort and support?)<br><br>
Another thing that might help is something that distracts the little one, a colorful activity, game, book that makes sounds, or you can play pot & pan drums games (get your pots and pans out, a big wooden spoon or two, get on the floor and start playing loud, happily and make it interesting to peek his interests and see if he comes over and plays with you. Don't force it though)<br><br>
Good Luck,<br>
Sheal</div>
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I've done and still do the carrier thing with him, and yes, it works great, but I can't hold or wear him all day. As I said, I have to kids of my own, and it's not just about having free hands, it's about needing some touch time with my own kids. I am a SAHM for my kids because I feel it's important for them to get that hands on time from their mother, and by holding someone else's baby all day I am not able to do that for my own children, and quite simply, I feel like it's not fair for them. This little guy won't even share my lap. If I'm holding him and one of my DD's tries to climb on my lap he starts kicking them and screamiing.<br><br>
Yes, it's entirely possible that he has separation anxiety, but I still need some ways to help comfort him that DON'T require constant holding. He doesnt' take a pacifier, doesn't thumb suck, isn't attached to anything, and has absolutely no "self-soothing" skills at all. I need to help him through this, but again, not at the expense of my own children.<br><br>
And finally, I have tried all kinds of distraction techniques. Sitting on the floor playing with him ALWAYS results in him crying and crawling into my lap. He honestly is totally unentertained by anything. I have 2 kids, I have tons of baby toys and NOTHING interests him except constant body to body contact. I really am going out of my mind <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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I don't have more than one child, so I'm not sure how much help I can be... but I do have a pretty high needs DD. Here are a few things that I've found seem to work for her:<br><ul><li>If you can put the baby on your back in a carrier, do it. DD likes being on my back when I do chores. She doesn't like it if I'm sitting at the computer or doing something stationary, but I can get some things done with her in it if I'm moving around. Perhaps you can put the babe on your back and take your kids to a park or on a walk?</li>
<li>Go outside as much as possible. DD doesn't like to be on the floor much, but she loves to be outside and will sit on the grass for a while playing with leaves and such.</li>
<li>Start out with the babe on your lap with a toy, then transition to having him sit on the floor to play with the toy. With DD, I still have to be right next to her when she's playing on her tummy, back or sitting up, but at least my hands are free.</li>
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I wish I had more advice for you! High needs babies can be tough sometimes!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Hi,<br>
He sounds alot like my little man(8mto), although I only have 1 baby, what helps with me is teething rings, and toys with lots, I mean lots of bells and whistles. (This usually buys me 5min-10min of hands free). Also, playing peekabo with anything helps, and the "I see you, can you see me?" game, looking through anything with a hole in it, and saying "I seee youuu," that helps too.<br><br>
I would ask for more pay as he does need more attention, toys, etc.<br>
Good Luck,<br>
Megan
 

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HI !<br>
I know just how you feel. My son, now 8 months, is still a pretty hands on kind of baby. The LO you're watching sounds like he needs lots of extra cuddling too. I have to say all of the PP have great suggestions and I have definitely tried them all myself as well, some with more success than others. For one, the back carrier idea is GREAT. I know you said you can't wear him all day but why not? Is he too big? How old is he by the way? I wear my son in a Patapum Toddler carrier for at least four hours a day with no pain or discomfort. And it's a cinch to get laundry done or whatever else I want...or if this was you, taking care of your little ones and giving them mama's attention. I go for a walk to get DS to sleep and after that I can sometimes sit on the couch (a bit bent forward of course, but it works) and type or go and eat lunch at the bar in my kitchen, do laundry, etc. Truthfully, I don't think I could've survived these past few months without this carrier! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Also, for mealtimes, if he doesn't sit in a highchair, put him in a hip carrier of some sort. If he ABSOLUTELY will not be put down in a high chair or even sit on the floor, isolate him in perhaps a ring sling or hip hammock or NN type sling on your hip while you're sitting down so your kids can have some room to get on your lap too. After a while I just started to think of my son as an appendage to my own body and worked around it, he just needed that constant closeness.<br>
I'm sorry to hear that he's so high needs. I just want to cuddle him right now! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> And you too! That's so rough with just one LO, but you have your own children to attend to as well. Just remember that distraction is always a GOOD thing. Keep trying with toys and interesting things to get his attention. Maybe he's teething too, that can be torture especially for HN babies. I'm sure he is just still missing mommy and getting used to his new situation. Poor little guy. Sooner or later he will feel more confident in you and will respond to your TLC. All children really need is love and attention and you sound like you're doing a great job at both. That mama is lucky to have you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Keep trying and good luck mama!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your responses, suggestions and support. I'm just having a really bad day with him, he has literally been attached to me all day, my kids are needing me (and at the same time I am resenting them for wanting my time)<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:. I'm just feeling totally inadequate today and at a loss for what to do to control the situation. I feel like this little guy is requiring so much of my energy that I have none left for my own kiddos.<br><br>
mknovgrod, I say I can't wear the baby all day, and I guess I should rephrase it to I don't want to. One, he is on the large size, he's only 10 months old and he's bigger than my toddler, and two, I just don't want to lug a baby around on my back while I'm bent over trying to change diapers, or while I'm trying to give my kiddos some cuddle time. Basically, I just don't savor the thought of carrying around an extra 25 lbs all day long, especially when he's not even mine.<br><br>
The suggestions of walking are good, and we did that in the fall, but it was just over 30 degrees today and it's not exactly easy to get 3 kiddos bundled up and out the door. Not to mention, I'd have to carry the baby, push a stroller with my toddler (who is the type that would run straight to the street because she knows mommy's not as fast with the baby boy strapped to her), and keep up with an active 4 year old......maybe you mama's have a little more energy or are a little more ambitious than me, but I don't see too many winter time walks happening here.
 

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Hey there.<br><br>
I think that while you are working with him it will be very difficult to attend to your children the way you want and are used to. Does he ever want to interact with the other kids?<br><br>
Is he crawling or walking? I'm going to guess no otherwise he'd be all over the place.<br><br>
Sorry, I have no real advice for you ... just hugs. I know it's hard. I have no idea how I would manage dd and another kid just yet and although she's high needs she basically took off exploring as soon as she was mobile.<br><br>
Hang in there.<br><br>
(And hi!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hey nylecoj - great to hear from you, I was actually just wondering about you the other day, as I hadn't seen you around.<br><br>
Actually, he is crawling, but he wont. The only time he will crawl is when I put him down to attend to my kids, then he crawls, crying, to where ever I am. It's maddening. And, frankly, unfair to my kiddos, and I just don't know what to do about it.<br><br>
Today was exceptionally tough because DD2 needed a lot of attention as well. When DH got home, I went out with some girlfriends, had 3 glasses of wine, and I'm much better now!!
 

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I'm in almost the same position . . . except that the baby in questions is my own! He is very high needs and very attached. On an hourly basis I am torn between parenting him they way he needs and making sure my other kids get the attention and help they need as well. It is really hard, and I feel for you. I wish I had better advice for you.<br><br>
HUGS
 

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It sounds like you may be starting to resent this situation and are finding that you can't take care of your friend's baby and your own children together in the ways that you want to. It may be that you have to make the hard decision to tell your friend that you tried it but it just isn't working for you. That may be better than growing in resentment and feeling miserable. That isn't good for any of you. Maybe this lo would be better of in a home w/o other young children.
 

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I know how it is to be "touched out." Sometimes I feel like I just want to run away and leave my LO behind. That's awful I know, but somedays I just want 5 mins to myself. Maybe things will get better when I can put her on my back, but she just gets bobble head right now. I'm sorry you're having this issue. I wish I could give you advice. Maybe something else is going on. Maybe the LO isn't feeling secure at home and finds comfort in you. Or, maybe like pp mentioned, it's separation anxiety. I don't know, but it's obvious you're the love of his life right now. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.<br>
Sam
 

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Wine solves everything! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
I agree with a pp that maybe you just need to tell your friend it's not working out for you. Difficult, I know, but maybe you could arrange to only watch him 1-2 days per week instead of 3? Do you think that would help at all?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>maiat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9869450"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It sounds like you may be starting to resent this situation and are finding that you can't take care of your friend's baby and your own children together in the ways that you want to. It may be that you have to make the hard decision to tell your friend that you tried it but it just isn't working for you. That may be better than growing in resentment and feeling miserable. That isn't good for any of you. Maybe this lo would be better of in a home w/o other young children.</div>
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I agree. I have a very high needs baby and I'm going on four days now where he has been constantly attached to me. I do mean constantly, and the crying? Lord. I am worn thin, and would love nothing more than to be able to hand him off and go out for a couple of glasses of wine! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I'm not being snarky, just honest. 8 months of this, plus my being 6 months pregnant at the moment... It takes a toll. BUT he's my own baby. And while that means I don't get a break from him, I also know that I'm the best one to handle him. Even his father gets agitated when spending more than 5-10 mins with him; I can't even imagine a "stranger" (friend or otherwise) having to deal with him. I'm his mother, and I barely can on some days. It might be different if I could afford to pay for a babysitter, but... we can't. Still. If I was the mother of the baby you're speaking of, I'd rather just not take the three free days a week if it meant my kiddo was being resented by his sitter. And I don't mean that in a judgmental way, just again, honest. If you're at your wits' end... Just tell the mother that. It sounds sad and frustrating and you probably will put her in a bad spot, but it's better that way than to let the resentment build and build.
 

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Ok, my dd was high needs as well, it is hard.<br><br>
How does he do IN things? like the stroller; will he sit in it? Even if you are not for contraptions to put kids in (I wasn't before I had dd) does anything work with him? bouncy things?<br><br>
A walker is what worked for dd around that age....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <insert safet warning here><br>
We didn't have stairs and we kept the bathroom door shut. Also, I wasn't overly concerned that it may take her a few extra weeks to walk...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: She loved her walker and it gave me a few minutes a day of peace where I could do things like wash both hands at the same time!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> (warning: even in the walker she still required a crazy amount of attention)
 

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No advice, I thought it was sweet that my old DDC got into the habit of calling "high-needs" babies "spirited" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>maiat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9869450"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It sounds like you may be starting to resent this situation and are finding that you can't take care of your friend's baby and your own children together in the ways that you want to. It may be that you have to make the hard decision to tell your friend that you tried it but it just isn't working for you. That may be better than growing in resentment and feeling miserable. That isn't good for any of you. Maybe this lo would be better of in a home w/o other young children.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:
 
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