Tips to handle a perpetually demanding baby
Anyone with a baby has the word “needs” deeply engraved in their daily routine. The infant constantly needs something or the other every now and then and the parent is busy catering to that need.
This however, becomes a mammoth task to deal with when you have on hands a ‘high needs’ baby. Now, all babies are needy and keep their parents on toes, most of the time; but, when you’re on your toes round the clock with your bundle of joy stuck in your arms for forever, you most certainly need help.
People often find it difficult to identify and accept that their’s is a high needs baby. Many mothers of such babies continue suffering from fears of having a spoilt, abnormal or even an under developed child; without knowing that what they are dealing with is not a developmental problem at all.
If your baby has an above average need to be carried, soothed and held always and you’re scared of handling her any other way from fear of triggering the high pitched wailing; you’ll know what we are talking about. High needs babies want the mother constantly, even while sleeping and can go on crying endlessly if not complied with.
Such babies are never happy and never contented and that’s why are called – ‘High-Needs babies’.
Identifying a baby with high needs:
Whenever you come across a little bunny who refuses to fall to sleep; manages to stay awake for hours longer than the parents can; cries excessively and continuously; is difficult to soothe or feed and demands to be held forever; you should know you are looking at a high needs baby.
The parents of such infants often have ‘help’ written large on their faces; especially the mother. For, she can barely catch a wink with the bundle constantly clinging to her. She is perpetually tired from entertaining or rocking the baby. Feeding and putting the baby to sleep is always a struggle and she has to build her routine around the little one instead of building a routine for the baby that suits her too.
Such babies never entertain themselves. They are light sleepers and often need pin drop silence, lest you want to invite a harassed mother’s wrath. They are easily disturbed by a change in surroundings and need constant entertaining to keep them distracted from wanting the lap or from crying.
Bringing up such a baby is energy sapping for the mother. Whatever new trick she tries, works without the guarantee of calming the baby again. While many babies go through this phase once in a while; it is a constant thing with a high needs baby.
Understanding the reasons for babies having high needs:
Being a high needs baby is not genetically determined. This is a tendency that off shoots from some pain or discomfort the baby has been in or, is continuously in.
The triggers of this behavior could be colic pains, diaper rash, allergies, acid reflux or even psychological fears. What starts as a genuine problem making the baby seek comfort in the mother’s arms; soon becomes a habit.
When in pain or discomfort a baby often cries uncontrollably. The mother’s attention however, is addictive. She soon realizes that crying brings her mommy running. This is then what lays the foundation of a high needs baby’s behavioral patterns.
Dealing with a high needs baby:
It is most important for parents to understand that this is only a phase in their baby’s life and will soon get over. Here are some tips:
- Accepting that one has a high needs baby will help making this period easier to deal with.
- Patience and innovation are the key words. While you need patience to deal with all that cranky behavior; innovative means of keeping the young one busy and distracted will help sail through the day easily.
- Babies usually love their daily walks. Invest in a stroller or a pram and calm yourself and the baby as you go walking. The changing scenery and the comfort of having mommy close by works wonders on the baby’s nerves.
- Try taking a few hours off every week and refresh yourself with some yoga or dance classes or simply go shopping all by yourself. You deserve the change.
- These are those few months when you can stop worrying about a dirty house or unkempt living room. Focus just on the baby and yourself.
- Do not forget your meals and nap with the baby; everything else can wait. Once you have taken care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped with energy and a fresh mind to take care of your little one.
Also, while it might sound unthinkable at the moment; know for sure that this clingy phase will one day get over and your baby will surely turn into a much calmer kid, leaving your apron to venture out into this world. There will be calm and normalcy once again in your life and until that happens – stay cool!