High needs babies(27 Posts)
I have a 14 week old baby girl. The first 5 weeks were easy. She slept and eat all the time anywhere, we had no problems. Then things changed. She became more demanding. Always wants to be held, doesn't like being left for long. Doesnt like playing with toys for long. Has to be moving all the time. Seems to get bored easily and will not sleep longer than 45 mins on her own.
At night she's not seemed too bad at all I took now. Where she'll scream for literally hours! Tonight it was 4 hours. She has to be with me to sleep it seems.
I didn't some research and it seems she's a high needs baby. Has anyone else had experience with this? I'd be greatful for advice or supper as I'm stating to feel so low about it. I'm exhausted with no time to do anything else
Yep. I just gave in - let DS sleep on me for all naps and co-slept. Made for a much easier and happier life for all of us. If it's any consolation, he is now a lovely, happy, cuddly and confident 2.2yo who often orders me out of the room if he's occupied with something.
This gives me hope. I thought everyone's babies were needy but now I no mine is much worse.
How did you do anything in the days? My little girl will play under her gym but birdie long and not every time. She won't lie on the bed whilst I shower she's cry until she's picked up.
I see her watching me and she'll get upset cos she wants me to pick her up. It's like she's an older person in a babies body. Like she knows she'll be able to sit up and walk one day but now she can't and gets annoyed with doing nothing. Makes me feel so low
When did you see changes?
Mine was a bit like this, although there was no prolonged crying because he never, ever refused the breast which kept him quiet at least!
Turned out he was tongue tied and the poor wee mite was starving and probably in pain from swallowing a lot of air.
He was in the sling a LOT and slept with me because he would not settle on his own.
I had one of these. Although I didn't get the first five weeks you describe - mine was high needs from birth.
I used a sling to have free hands and I co slept to minimise night wakings for us both. I also breastfed her for far longer than I'd intended, as it was the one thing that helped soothe her. Hadn't planned on any of it, but was clearly what she needed.
What you describe about a frustrated baby is just what mine was - almost wishing to be at the next stage. Her distress improved at every developmental stage, so improved when she crawled, then when walked, then when talking began.
Also, taking her out was a necessity. We went for walks three times a day. She enjoyed a change of scenery, so any groups helped.
It nearly killed me, that first year, especially the first six months. I couldn't put her down to shower, to go to the loo, anything. People suggested I let her cry but her cries weren't just a bit upset, they were blood curdling screams as if someone was trying to murder her.... I just couldn't do it.
She's now a delight of a two year old, massively independent and chatting away to anyone who will listen. She wakes happy and generally stays that way.
It won't always be this way and from my experience, 14 weeks was about the hardest part. Really good luck xx
Thank you so much. I'm crying reading this. I've just got out the shower to her having a meltdown in the bouncer. It's like she's always stressed and unhappy and I wonder what I've done wrong.
I breastfeed her too and I'm always doing it did if settles her. Shewing take a dummy longer than a minute do that doesn't work. Crying it out doesn't work. How the hell will I get through this.
It's nice hearing your little have grown up to be happy little people. I can't help but think mine will be a grumpy moody little girl going on her first 14 weeks xx
Hi, I have three and I think they have all been what you describe as 'high needs' but I have always thought as just part of being a baby! I know some people's babies are apparently quite chilled, but I think it seems natural for a little baby to want to be held and be close to it's mother a lot of the time, though it is a PITA and means you can't get anything done! I don't think they really 'play' at this age, and attention for things like playmats is quite limited. With my first, I found it a total shock and really hard and think I pretty much carried her around with me the first six months or so and struggled to do anything else. I think with the third I have finally cracked it now and got a sling, which is brilliant - he sleeps in there and I can do stuff. Have you tried a sling? - I went to a local sling meeting to get some advice and try different slings which was really helpful as it can be hard to work out on my own.
My mother in law has said about my first that she didn't like being a baby, and my partner was apparently the same - he now has a PhD from Oxbridge so think it can be a sign of intelligence and frustration! My little girl has been lovely since being a toddler, if quite high maintenance at times!
It is insanely hard work - I listen in disbelief when people talk about how they enjoyed mat leave. Mine was a haze of hell, mainly because I spent too much of it thinking I had to 'teach' DS to sleep alone and mithered about everything I wasn't getting done. It's MATERNITY leave - not several months off for a jolly. There is no shame in making DH/DP keep up his end of the chores even though you're at home all day. There is no shame in asking any supportive friends or family to come and help you around the house so you can feed, cuddle and sleep with her as much as she needs. Forming a strong attachment is what she needs, and is asking for, and what will turn her into a more confident girl as she grows older.
I second taking her to baby groups and out and about as much as possible. I also swam with DS from the time he was about eight weeks old which he adores to this day - I'm sure it's the extra helping of skin-to-skin while being in a social context. This seems counter-intuitive, but we also started DS in nursery a couple of half-days per week from the time he was five months old. I had no other support and it gave me a couple of scheduled breaks per week, which I spent spread-eagled on my bed doing nothing or catching up on sleep which I'm pretty sure saved my life. He was absolutely fine and meant he was perfectly happy there when I went back to work full time.
14-20 weeks is SUCH a difficult time, mainly, I think, because it's all still very new. I know it feels like you've been doing it forever, but it's just the first stages of long-term sleep deprivation and baby-fatigue kicking in. You do get used to it, but you'll make friends with the situation more if you just give her what she needs. Box sets, Netflix, Sky Plus and MN are all your best mates for the hours you might spend having her sleep on you, but it will pay off in the end!
You'll get through it.
My mum says the same about my girl, she wants to be a grown up. Like laying down and chilling aren't no where near enough for her.
I've got a sling and its great. She can sleep well in that. I've tried so hard to make nap time happen in her bed. I've tried self settle. I've tried hour by hour routine and nothing works. I feel like people will say she's the way she is because I give into her do what she wants but I swear if I didn't she's cry herself to death! Honestly she screams!
It makes me feel like I'm so alone in all this even though i know I'm not. The days are so long with a baby like this.
My DD was similar but from birth. I couldn't put her down, I couldn't give her to anyone else to hold and she would only tolerate very short periods in the buggy if it was moving and I would sing to her. I gave up and went with the flow. I bought a sling, I co-slept and did everything else in little chunks of 10 minute intervals as and when she let me. It was exhausting, stressful and very boring at times but there didn't seem to be any other choice. She got better at around 9mo but continued to be quite a clingey, sensitive and shy toddler. She is a lot better now that she is 3yo though (I don't know if that is any consolation!). She was PFB and I am SAHM, I am not too sure what I am going to do when DC2 arrives if he is the same as I havea 3yo to entertain this time round!
I'd love more children but I do wonder of this will put me off.
I think doing what makes her happiest is easiest for me. I'd love a structured routine day but we just can't have one.
Well done for all getting though it. I suppose we just have to. I so wonder how my life got this complicated sometimes. I love her more than anything but she doesn't make it easy for me.
I hope and she gets more able she'll be happier with her self. It's horrible seeing her frustrated all the time xx
Your baby sounds easier than mine was!! She NEVERlet me put her down even for a minute without screaming, she hated her pram, sling, car seat I was so jealous of these other mums who's babies just seemed happy and slept mine did and still does at 16 months wake every hour! So you're not alone, but I understand how horrid it is to see these blissed out mums breezing through it whilst I was a crying lonely wreak. It is easier (apart from the nights) now she is walking and talking, she plays by herself and I can cook dinner and get dressed!!
Oh and I won't be having another, well not for at least 10 years until the baby experience fades from my mind!
I could have written your post 2 years ago...in fact I think I did write something similar.
Some babies are trickier, they don't sleep easily or for long periods, don't lie happily in their pram/on their playmat and are just more 'angsty'. This makes your job a lot harder but it will get better.
Do try using a sling (I found the moby wrap sling comfy), at least it leaves your hands free and you might find your baby sleeps easier in it. The crying/grumpiness could be tiredness (at 14 weeks your baby probably needs to nap frequently, every hour or two). The sling won't give you a break but if it stops the crying that's something at least.
Personally I persevered with the dummy and it helped a lot with sleep in the long run, at least dp could get up in the night to put the dummy back in whereas only I could bf. Dd would only take the old fashioned 'cherry' dummies though. I used to keep popping it in dd's mouth while jiggling her in the sling until she fell asleep. Didn't always work but did sometimes.
You might find once you wean, introduce formula and solids, things improve, some babies thrive on routine and a day structured around regular mealtimes rather than feeding ad hoc (mine did). You'll get a feel for what's right for your baby, don't be afraid to try different options if one method doesn't seem to suit your baby.
Get as much help as you can afford if you've no family nearby. I used a maternity nurse one day a week and it really helped (if only to show me my baby was an 'unusual' sleeper and it wasn't my poor parenting).
Hang in there, it does get better, some babies are just frustrated at not being able move/talk and turn into fantastic toddlers.
Hope you're ok Countryside. It's so hard in those first months but it does get easier. I found asking for help a good idea- neighbours, relatives , friends etc were all happy to come for a walk or round for a cup of tea and hold the baby for half an hour so I could have a shower or whatever. Took me ages to do this without feeling like a failure but I wish I'd done it sooner as it really helped. Ditto going to baby groups. The adult company was invaluable too.
I was also militant about naps- at the first sign of tiredness I had DS in the pram or sling or in bed with me to minimise the chances of him being overtired.
Look after yourself
You've all made me feel much happier. Thank you
You do doubt what your doing wrong when all they seem to do is be unhappy.
She's currently napping on the sofa because that's where I fed her and she fell asleep. I've manage to do my hair and make up ready for her to wake up and we'll try going for a walk.
I'm hoping as she gets older and eats more she'll be happier and more content. I hope so anyway its sad seeing her upset.
It's nice talking to others who understand. I do t have many friends with babies and the ones I so have are golden so no one understands which just makes you feel worse.
Thanks ladies xx
ElphabaTheGreen - lovely words. Thank you.
You've all made my day seem much brighter. If only you were just down the road from me xx
She might be having some sort of spurt (the four months one?)
A friends baby was like this - miserable until she started crawling and walking (how sorry I used to feel for my friend as my baby, about the same age, just used to sit and gurgle in his pram happily for hours). But as soon as she could crawl and walk she became a gregarious and sunny toddler (most of the time) and is now a confident and fun preschooler.
My "easy" baby boy has probably been harder as a toddler and preschooler than her "difficult" baby.
I always look for growth spurts and developmental leaps to put it down to something but I honestly just think this is what she's like.
One this I have read over and over again is that these difficult little people turn out loving happy and friendly. I can only hoe my little girl does. I do everything the best I can for her I just hope its enough xx
oh and I've always fed to sleep, still do at 16 months and its fine. She'll go to sleep on her dad if I'm out but at that baby stage only I could get her to sleep. Are you sure she doesn't have colic. My girl screamed every night for hours and hours for the first 6 months and the doctors just dismissed it again and again until insisted some tests were done and she was found to have severe reflux.
My dd was/is like this too. Would only sleep whilst in contact with me and only for very short spurts....it's been challenging but because she's my second and I did nothing differently to my first (who is chilled out and slept 12hrs at 10 weeks) I know that it is personality, and not my mistAkes! If she was my first I would have gone to pieces thinking I was doing it all wrong. I hope you don't feel like that!!
What has helped me is discovering that lots of parents have the same experience, they just don't tend to talk about it. Also the fact that I go with the flow and tend to my daughter when she needs me in the night means that she is now incredibly happy and independent, and many people comment on her ability to 'potter'...
You are doing a fantastic job, and it will get easier. Your baby is my lucky to have a mum who is working out what her needs are, rather than trying to force her into a particular mould.
Sorry, too long but last thing, do join a decent mum and baby group if you can. It does wonders to find you aren't alone...
Have a look at the wonder weeks. I think there is one at 5 weeks where they become very fussy and it explains why they are so clingy and crying so much. Makes a lot of sense. My 2 yr old followed the wonder week traits to a T and I didn't know about them until she was 19 weeks old and it made a whole load of sense when I finally did find out. It goes up to week 75 im afraid! They do have "sunny periods" though but the wonder weeks themselves often last for a few weeks at a time but at least you know why and what you can do to help them through it. Its just that they have development leaps and each leap turns their worlds upside down because they don't understand whats happening to them hence being upset and clingy etc. I just googled it and week 5 is the very first development leap so this is what your baby is going through now. Have a look its very interesting.
Oh doh sorry I misread that, shes 14 weeks not 5 weeks! She still could be going through a wonder week too though at this age though. goes back to sit in the corner
Haha that's ok. I've got the wonder weeks app. Says she's going through a sunny stage now?! She a always been pretty demanding but it's stepped up a notch now.
I've read SO much about high needs babies today and I think I've just gotta wait it out.
All babies are high needs! And I say this as someone who had prem twins, reflux took hours to feed, colic etc
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