Babies can be difficult, especially for first-time parents who may feel lost and confused about their baby’s needs and cues. Although, remember as a first-time parent there is a learning curve.
Babies are supposed to cry, it is their way of communicating their needs (hunger, diaper change, tired, etc.) however, some babies are especially “needy. You could have a consistently higher maintenance baby. Your baby might not only cry and be fussy more than other babies, but they might have trouble napping and sleeping, have separation anxiety, won’t sleep alone, and hate the car. They further might have trouble relaxing and self-soothing, as well as being sensitive to touch and not liking too much stimulation. Your baby might never seem happy or satisfied, however worry not. Your baby’s temperament isn’t your fault, but remember all babies and children are unique. You will notice your baby’s personality possibly earlier on than you imagined.
Routine is key with children, and this might help your higher needs baby as they grow. Giving a baby a routine, especially a bedtime routine can help improve their temperament and sleep overall. It will also help keep you sane, concentrating on your next task with the baby despite possibly your feelings of exhaustion or desperation.
Make sure your baby isn’t colicky. Colic is most common in babies 0-4 months in age and this can also manifest as prolonged crying. However, if you find your baby is still crying for prolonged periods of time or is overall unhappy past 3-4 months of age, your baby might be a high need baby.
In my case, my first daughter was easier. She was a good sleeper from a young age, a sound sleeper and a good eater. She began crawling, standing and walking also much easier and faster than my second. My younger daughter on the other hand would wake up at the slightest sound or disruption in the environment. She wouldn’t continuously drink her milk and she wanted a lot more attention. Sometimes she would cry in the night for no apparent reason too. She is what I would consider a “higher need” baby, however overall she was a happy baby.
Though I felt overwhelmed after months of little to no sleep. I was Googling about the 9-month sleep regression, teething, separation anxiety and more looking for answers. However, I found patience has been my saving grace. Routine keeps up a little more sane on the days she doesn’t sleep and we continue to hope it’s’ ‘just a phase”. However, I have realized maybe this is part of her character. She wants to be with me almost always despite being happy for a while with others. I have had to let go of the idea of her sleeping on her own for now and give her the extra cuddles she longs for at night.
While having a high needs baby can be both physically and mantally draining, remember to take breaks, get support, and learn your baby’s cues. This will make coping much easier. If your gut tells you that something is wrong, consider talking to your pediatrician or seeking professional help.
There is no greater job than that of being a parent, so let Storybook help you help them, not only get the sleep they need but quality time with you.