I believe I have spoken before of how both j and b were high needs babies. Some would call them fussy, others would call them colicky, whatever you call it, it was awful. They both needed to be held, swaddled, and bounced CONSTANTLY the first 3 months of their lives. The “definition” of colic is supposedly crying for at least 3 hours a day, 3 days a week for 3 weeks. I would have been thrilled to have them ONLY cry for that amount of time. Mine were 24/7 criers. It was exhausting.
A good friend of mine recently adopted her second child, who is also a high needs baby. She was able to get him at a few days old, and has learned that “Mr. Crabby Pants” needs lots of attention. More than most babies. She had posted a question about recommendations for baby swings, bouncers, etc. that might give her and her husband a break from the constant holding/bouncing/walking responsibilities and one of her friends posted a beautiful sentiment that brought me to tears. I found it so encouraging and inspiring that I wanted to share with you, and other parents of very high needs babies. I have changed it slightly to remove my friend’s childrens’ names, and to make it a bit more generic, but the gist is the same.
It feels like you cannot help him feel comfortable.
But all the time that you are spending holding him while he expresses what he needs to express, you are connecting. Connection does not occur during the good times, it occurs during those times that are difficult.
Baby is learning very early in life that his forever mommy is there for him “no matter what.” The higher purpose of what you are doing right now is not to get Baby’s expressions to stop, but rather the goal is to build that never-ending-power of connection.
Baby’s older sister is seeing how mommy’s love can be tested, stretched, bent, and beaten but will never break. It might feel like you are not giving her what she needs because you are so heavily engaged with Baby right now. Just remember, even if she fusses for your attention when you cannot give it, she is learning that mommies are mommies “no matter what” and if mommy is this committed to Baby, imagine how committed mommy is to me.
I hope this gives you encouragement to get through these difficult moments. Truly high needs babies are challenging. And while we love them completely, sometimes we wish the crying would end. Seeing how CONNECTING is the ultimate goal was an eye opening moment for me.
I did ask permission to modify and post the above sentiment. This wonderful friend did not desire credit, but I want to let all of you know I didn’t come up with it myself.
Feel free to share the inspiring words that helped you to cope with high needs or fussy or colicky babies.