Continued from My baby is Jack Nicholson and other posts dedicated to crying.
Waylon is howling as I write this. He’s clinging to my thigh, tears streaming down his face, just waiting for me to break. To other attachment parents, this might seem a bit cruel. It does to me too, but I know he’s okay. He’s been fed, changed, and I’ve played with him for at least an hour. I’ll pick him up soon, I just need a moment to vent. A moment to say, “this is hard” and “no really, this kid is clingy” and “my baby is still Jack Nicholson.”
Yesterday I found myself googling “high needs baby” and came across Dr. Sear’s 12 Features Of A High Needs Baby. Have you met Bill? When people ask who Waylon’s primary physician is, I’m tempted to say Dr. Sears as we are always consulting him over everything from rashes to discipline. He is like the President of Parenting. You may have met his nemesis, Michael Pearl. That guy is crazytown.
Basically the article confirmed what I suspected, Waylon is a high needs baby and we just need to accept that.
Dr. Sears and his wife, Martha, began to specialize in fussy babies when their fourth baby, Hayden, was born. While their first 3 children had been generally easy babies, Hayden was only happy when being held or fed. It was then that they realized that some babies are just truly high need.
Some Characteristics of High Needs Babies
Intense. (Read: I am going deaf)
Draining (Read: We went to bed at 1am last night)
Feeds frequently (Read: I am a human pacifier)
Awakens frequently (Read: I am an open buffet all night long)
Super-sensitive (Read: Drama king)
Can’t put baby down (Read: My back is killing me)
Not a self-soother (Read: Co sleeping for life)
Difficulty entertaining themselves. (Read: I’m getting really good at playing “tractor”)
Loves to be around people, noise and activity. Friends and family may not believe your stories of crying and fussing because these babies appear so easy-going and content when in public. (Read: You are making me a liar)
So what’s a mom to do? I bet if I were an apple picker and not a writer, I’d have a much happier baby on my hands. Strapped on my back all day in the outdoors with other apple pickers, fussy pants would be in heaven.
Fortunately that’s not in my cards, so I’ll need to find a different route.
It seems there are many schools of thought on how to deal with high needs babies, the divide happening somewhere between attachment parenting and the school of hard-knocks. For me, half the battle is adjusting my thinking and accepting the kid for who he is. Comparing him to text book babies is futile.
Have you dealt with a high needs baby? Tell me your secrets.