Survival Tips for High Needs / unsettled baby
Survival Tips for High Needs / unsettled baby
Having a baby can be exhausting. But having a baby who cries and fusses frequently, takes exhaustion to a whole new level.
- Do you have a baby, who you sometimes just can’t seem to settle?
- Does your baby want to be held most of the time?
- Does your baby cluster feed?? want to feed often or for a long time?
- Does your baby hate to sleep in her cot or Moses’ basket and pushchair?
- Does your baby fall into light sleep and then wake frequently?
- Does your baby prefer sleeping on you to anywhere else?
- Are you fed up with other mums saying ‘oh, my baby is like a clockwork: feeds three hourly, snuggles and sleeps sweetly for three hours?
If this sounds like you, then take a look at some tips that I hope might help both you and your baby feel a little bit happier but firstly, how do you know if the baby is a high need, or if there’s something wrong with the baby?”. This is an extremely important question, and a visit with your doctor should always, be the first course of action when you have a baby who fusses or cries frequently, or who has difficulties feeding or sleeping (whether there are physical symptoms present or not). The argument is that low need babies are the ones who are able to be calmed and comforted when being held and that babies who don’t settle even when being held could be in discomfort due to a medical condition. So if your doctor is able to rule out other causes of fussiness including infant reflux or Gastro issues or milk protein allergy or sensitivity or the conditions is being treated, and the fussy behaviors has not gone away, it may be time to consider that your baby may simply have a temperament that is more intense, more demanding and more sensitive You are not alone!
Try these Survival tips:
Think about Yourself
New mother always says my baby needs me so much that I don’t even have time to do anything. It’s natural to put your baby’s needs first, but it should not mean that you always put your needs last. You can’t parent a tired baby if your energy is drained. It helps to have a realistic appraisal of what your needs are and realistic expectations of baby’s needs so that you both have reciprocal interactions. Make a chart and list the things you absolutely need for your well-being!
Something simple like
|MY NEEDS||BABY’S NEEDS|
| Exercise and break/space
Take a walk with baby in a sling. You can use different peaceful/interesting routes. It’s refreshing for both.
| Needs to be constantly held.
The visual distractions/ noises/flowers /trees/kids can stimulate your baby enough to forget fussing!
| Therapeutic writing
When you’ve reached your wit’s end, send your high-needs baby out with father/trusted relatives or a friend and sit down with your journal. Writing gives you the opportunity to examine your feelings about yourself, your parenting, and your child.
|When a baby comes back, you start on the positives sides of your baby. After all your baby knows what she wants and has the personality to get it! Look for positives.|
ALLOW BABY TO SOOTHE THEMSELVES
Being unconditionally responsive is part of the parent-infant reciprocal contract. In your passion to be a positive parent, it’s tempting to keep giving until you give out. During the early months, babies need a responsive mother. Baby wants to feed, needs cuddles, you oblige. Baby wants to be held, you do it. Sometimes allow baby a little frustration to encourage self-soothing.
Once you know your limits, you will be motivated to find ways to get your baby to soothe better, and your baby will soon get the message that life gets even better and more smoothly with a happy mummy!
MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY
The mantra sleep when your baby sleeps is very important to keep your sanity. Rest when your baby naps not try to “get things done” while your baby’s sleeping. Resist that urge to sort things out and take a break yourself. To keep your stability and confidence in parenting a high need baby, sleep time is pure gold. You must make sleep and rest as a priority.— much too valuable to be spent washing up, dusting, or even cooking. This is your recharge period if you use it wisely, You will win most of the time
Your feelings about your baby may be full of negatives (“doesn’t sleep,” unsettle,” “likes to held always,” “unpredictable,” “cries excessively, hates to be put down”) You are missing his/her cues and failing to see the beautiful flowers beneath the weeds. Try to pick the weeds (yours and baby’s), and see the flower blossom beautifully, you will forget that pile of weeds. (fussy days/sleeplessness)
Every high need baby has one or more positive behavior traits that, if discovered and nurtured, makes the calm and secure in future. The trick is to find them. It’s so easy to let the negatives outweigh the positives. Sometimes you have to pick a lot of weeds to see the flowers bloom.
It does get easier! You will survive and Baby will Thrive!