It Only Took Me 15 Months To Figure It Out

Monday, August 27, 2012
In the past month or so I've realized Abby can be categorized as a "high-needs" baby. It only took me a year and half to figure it out. Geesh.  In fact, it took me reading a mother's description of her high-needs infant on her blog for me to realize, "hey, that's Abby!" I can be pretty dense sometimes.

Dr. Sears has defined a high needs baby as meeting most or all of the following descriptions:

1. Intense~ They cry loudly, feed voraciously, laugh with gusto, and protest more forcefully if their needs are not met to their satisfaction. Because they feel so deeply, they react more powerfully if their feelings are disturbed. Intense babies become "driven" toddlers.
2.  Hyperactive
3. Draining
4. Feeds Frequently (This one should have tipped me off when she was a newborn.)
5. Demanding
6. Awakens Frequently
7. Unsatisfied
8. Unpredictable
9. Super-sensitive
10. Can't put baby down
11. Not a Self-Soother
12. Separation Sensitive

Dr. Sears goes into more descriptive detail here

Many of these descriptions sound negative, they are not meant to be. These babies are just passionate from an early age.

At 15 months old, Abby has outgrown some of these characteristics, but not all. As we watch her personality develop, I keep thinking if we can just steer her towards the good, she will be a force to reckon with.

My suggestion for handling a high-needs baby would be toss the schedule aside and simply feed and hold the baby when he or she demands. To some this may sound like spoiling. To me, this just sounds like survival. Sometimes Abby just needs to connect for a minute and then she's on her way again. To put off this need would just prolong the demands. So I guess "give in" is my advice. Ha, that sounds bad. 

Also, I think plenty of fresh air and exercise is necessary for these busybodies. They are like puppies, they need to be walked (run) daily, more so I think than other children.

Realize that "this too shall pass." We are just starting to come out the other side of this high-needs tunnel and while it was and is draining at times, we are loving Abby's personality. She really is pretty awesome.

Anyone have any suggestions or advice for handling a high-needs baby or toddler?

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