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To think my baby is HSP?

(17 Posts)
Babypassport Wed 05-Jul-17 12:02:31

I may well be being completely U here - my only child, about to turn one, and I've no idea if she's showing particular signs or just doing things that are common to all babies!

A couple of years ago I came across an article on the Highly Sensitive Person (not this exact one but it explains what HSP is - www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/highly-sensitive-people/) and suddenly a lot of things fell into place for me; it seemed to be a perfect list of some of the flaws in my character - cries easily, startles easily, takes too long to react to stimuli, painfully indecisive...

Anyway, my baby is not quite a year old and I think she's starting to show signs of the same thing. She startles very easily, jumps and sometimes cries at loud noises, and the two times I've had to say 'no!' sternly (not shouting, just tone of voice) she has been absolutely inconsolable.

It's fine if she is a HSP, and I'd love to know how best to help her appreciate the positive aspects of HSP as she grows up. Does anyone have any experience? Thanks.

wisemonkey Wed 05-Jul-17 12:10:20

Lots of babies are startled easily at that age. One of my daughters used to burst into tears too if anyone said "no" to her or whenever she saw a strange man. I've never heard the label HSP before, just use your instincts and common sense in dealing with her. Y abu only in wanting to label her.

Babypassport Wed 05-Jul-17 12:16:07

Thanks Wisemonkey. You're quite right that I'm being U; I guess I just want to catch it early if it's the case. I'm probably just projecting my own 'issues' on the poor kid! grin

missiondecision Wed 05-Jul-17 12:19:31

Link doesn't work for me.
She's too young to say imo.

VeryButchyRestingFace Wed 05-Jul-17 12:21:39

Surely most of the population must be "highly sensitive persons" (to themselves)? grin

kaytee87 Wed 05-Jul-17 12:24:09

My almost 1 yo cries when my dh sneezes. I think he's just a baby.
Op yabu grinwink

toomuchtooold Wed 05-Jul-17 12:26:05

I dunno. Based on my highly unscientific survey of my two kids, I think a lot of those "symptoms" could be experienced by any kid. One of mine (DD1) is an intuitively people-pleasing perfectionist and the other one (DD2) has all the sensory issues but none of the social ones. I don't think it really matters though whether it's a real thing - you just deal sympathetically with it. DD1 likes to know what the rules are in any social context, and likes to talk over with you what's likely to happen and what she'll need to do. DD2 often reacts about smells and noises, and I just take her seriously and try and remove her out of the situation if it's too much. And we spend a lot of money on socks. No, really. There are a couple of companies that do socks with no seam, and they bother her far less, but I still end up with loads that are too slack or tight or this or that.

How's her sleep? DD2 wouldn't nap in the buggy and would wake at first light. When we put her down for naps in her cot and totally blacked out the window (you can do it with tinfoil, just dampen the window and it'll stick) she started sleeping far better and napping two hours a day. I wonder if it's a thing with easily stimulated kids. IDK.

Babypassport Wed 05-Jul-17 12:27:03

Well that's also it Very - maybe I'm just being a precious snowflake about myself and my oh-so-heightened emotions, and then forcing them on my poor perfectly average baby. I've never told anyone IRL about the HSP thing because I feel like a bit of a twat. Ironically one of the 'issues' of HSP is not trusting your own emotional responses to anything, so I'm never going to know what the right answer is smile

Babypassport Wed 05-Jul-17 12:36:50

I don't think it really matters though whether it's a real thing - you just deal sympathetically with it.
Thanks toomuch - I think that is pretty perfect advice! DD is normally quite a good sleeper so we've been very lucky on that score!

Mrsknackered Wed 05-Jul-17 13:11:42

I'm a highly sensitive person OP. It was first suggest by a child psychologist when I was 6/7. I am in my 20's now.
I find it difficult to function with more than one sound at one time. So I can't have television/children making noise/washing machine etc all at the same time, it causes massive sensory overload.
I also struggle with emotion control. I feel happiness very intensely but on the flip side I also feel very sad/angry/embarrassed easily. Being told off (even now) is hugely distressing. I always found learning easier through reading the information myself or discussing it rather than 'practical' learning. I struggled heavily with Maths but excelled at English/RE/Sociology etc. Obviously not sure how much of this is HSP or just me but yeah, that's my experience of it. I'm seeing signs of it in DS1, particularly how he handles friendships and being reprimanded (he is also petrified of hand dryers, hoovers, washing machines, etc) but there were definitely no tell tale signs at a year old (he is now 4)

Absolutechaos Wed 05-Jul-17 13:22:26

OP I am HSP and one of my DD's is as well. In hindsight there were some signs from a very young age - couldn't be held to go to sleep (would get over stimulated), massive reaction to loud noises etc but we didn't work it out until she was about 3. After thinking we had the toddler from hell, the penny dropped and it was much easier handling all her quirks - we have also spent a fortune on socks, soft clothing etc. It is good to be aware of the possiblity but far too soon to be doing anything as it may also just be normal baby reactions. Elaine Aron has written a good book on HSP kids and it is worth a read later on if it turns out that you are dealing with one.

Mrsknackered Wed 05-Jul-17 13:25:31

Oh goodness yes, clothing.
I can't have any fleece or high necks that rub on my chin and nothing with a label that I can feel.
A cycling helmet is absolute hell.

toomuchtooold Wed 05-Jul-17 17:43:03

I'm the same with clothes Mrsknackered. The feeling of wool on my neck is like a bloody brillo pad. I can still remember the hellish itch of my mother tucking my long hair into my duffel coat to keep it dry on a rainy day - aaargh. I also have the issue with the two noises at the same time - particularly if one or both is music.

Anyone got a kid who listens to music with their hands over their ears? DD2 does that. I do remember being scared of loud noises as a kid - the toilet flush and the sound of trains going past - but I think I was always fairly happy with loud music. IDK. I mean, my hearing is shot to bits these days from going to really loud rock concerts and standing right down the front grin

Pengggwn Wed 05-Jul-17 17:45:04

I think calling it HSP makes it sound like a medical condition. Some people are just sensitive; it isn't an illness or a disorder.

ElizaDontlittle Wed 05-Jul-17 17:47:45

There are a couple of decent books - admittedly I display most of the signs and was labelled "fussy" and "difficult" so don't see the label of "highly sensitive child" that troubling - called 'The Highly Sensitive Person' and 'The Highly Sensitive Child' - am sure they will come up via google.

Babypassport Wed 05-Jul-17 18:47:37

Thanks everyone for their experiences and for book recommendations.

Does anyone have an issue with that synthetic fast-drying material that they use for travel towels? Touching it makes me feel weird and a bit sick!

Toomuch, I thought hating the two-noise thing was just normal. When I used to go over to my best friend's house as a teenager, she'd want to listen to music in the same (admittedly large) sitting room that her brother was watching telly in. The sounds felt like drilling in my skull, but I thought it was them being weird not me! grin

Pengggwn, you're right that it's not an illness or disorder of any kind; it's just quite a significant personality trait!

toomuchtooold Wed 05-Jul-17 21:43:10

My FIL likes to have "background music" on while you have dinner. Everyone of course then talks over it. It's like nails down a blackboard!

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