My daughter turned six months this past Sunday. As I reflect on these past six months, the typical things come to mind. “Where did the time go, she is growing so fast, I miss how little she was, etc..” Most people say they wish time would slow down, however I am yearning for her to grow older. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter, but I am OVER this baby stage. I have a high needs baby. Now if you don’t know what that is, go read this article. Basically she is excessively fussy and needy. Constantly wants to be held- while im standing up, refuses anything synthetic (swing, bouncer, baby bottle, pacifier), and is probably only happy for 1-2 hours a day. The rest is spent fussing, crying, yelling, and well, you get it.
After multiple doctors visits and spending many late nights researching why my daughter cries 24/7 I finally stumbled across the above website and everything clicked together. I couldn’t believe that I figured out the problem! Since then, we’ve been able to handle her a little better. We know her triggers and what makes her happy and we take it day by day. Some days are absolutely awful, while others are pretty decent! She loves to be outside, and she loves her jumper but you have to switch her activities every 10-15 minutes or else she has a meltdown, obviously she loves to be held, and she HAS to get put down for a nap every hour and a half. I spend 20-30 minutes rocking her to sleep in order to put her down for a nap. Also, she is still waking up every two to three hours at night to comfort nurse, since unfortunately she uses me as a pacifier.
I cant wait for her to get older so this stage can get a little better. From what I’ve read, some high needs babies turn into great kids, and others turn into whats known as a “spirited toddler.” Emma also had colic, which she grew out of at 4 months and she has pretty bad acid reflux. So we’ve got our hands full. It’s definitely very hard when you carry around this little baby for 40 weeks and you dream about what she will be like, and you fall in love with her, and cant wait to see her smiles, and hear her laughs, and then when she arrives its nothing like you imagined. I didnt think it would be all rainbows and unicorns, I knew it would be hard, but I didnt know it would be this hard. I hate that I look at my friends babies and wish that my daughter was like them. Their babies hardly ever cry, fall asleep on their own, will sit and entertain themselves, and are just so sweet and happy and It kills me that Emma isn’t happy. I hate to see her cry all day and no matter what I do, not much makes her happy.
With all that said, I wouldn’t change a single thing about her. The things that do make her happy are so uniquely her and I love it. She is obsessed with bottles and cans, and water faucets. She loves to talk to herself in the mirror. When I pick her up after a nap, or when she wakes up at night, she clings to me and paws at me with her hands in the most gentle way. She loves to stand and bounce, and even when she is laying down she kicks her legs and tries to bounce. She has taught me patience and unconditional love.
The most frustrating aspect of having a high needs baby isn’t Emma, its all of the people around us who say its our fault. They say “there is no such thing as high needs, you’re just spoiling her.” “It’s probably from you picking her up when she cries.” “Have you tried not breastfeeding her and forcing a bottle?” “Oh she is probably just hungry, tired, needs to be changed, etc.” Heres a thought, why don’t YOU spend a whole day with her and then tell me these things. First of all, you cant spoil a baby, at least one under six months. Secondly I don’t immediately pick her up when she cries, I give her a few minutes to see if she figures it out on her own, then I will go get her. Forcing a bottle, are you stupid? Im not going to starve her until she takes a bottle and I like breastfeeding her anyway. And lastly, im her mother, don’t you think i would know if she was hungry, tired, or needed to be changed?
Whether she becomes a happy toddler, or a spirited one, wont matter much to me. On both the bad and good days I love her just the same. If you think you might have a high needs baby then I highly suggest you check out the fussy baby site and the Facebook support group.