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To those of you with high needs babies...

(32 Posts)
CheshireSplat Wed 10-Dec-14 15:36:30

I just wanted to say don't let anyone tell you to put him/her down more, that you've caused it etc.

DD1 was high needs. Couldn't put her down at all, feeds took 1.5 hrs, 8 times a day etc etc. I didn't have the time to do anything at all in the house, my back went. One particularly proud day when DD was about 4 weeks I did my first chore in the house. Pressing start on the dishwasher - DH had loaded it and put the dishwasher tablet in, mind. I just had to put my mug in - breakfast naturally was Belvita biscuits, no potential for anything needing a spoon.

Fast forward 3 years and here's DD2. I knew when I was pregnant that she was more laid back. She is nearly 4 weeks, sleeps in her Moses basket day and night, quick feeder and lies around awake just watching stuff. NOT BEING HELD. I couldn't believe it!!!! I've decluttered all my clothes, am cleaning, writing thank you cards etc...and sneaking lovely newborn cuddles.

The reason for writing this is to try to reassure those of you with high needs babies that it's not your fault. It is hard work, so don't compare yourselves to others. Don't beat yourself up about why you can't do anything in the house when others are. Mumsnet has been invaluable to me since DD1 was born so I hope this might help someone. Enjoy your babies!

mummypig3 Wed 10-Dec-14 15:44:06

My ds3 is a high needs baby but my other 2 weren't, and i wondered if i had caused it or did something wrong in the pregnancy, but i just think some babies are like that. Doesn't stop people judging though, and making you feel bad

CheshireSplat Wed 10-Dec-14 15:52:55

I know mummypig! I just felt so inadequate. What's annoying me now is that when I tell people how easy DD2 is, they say "well, she's your second, you'll be much more relaxed". Grrrr!

TheBookofRuth Wed 10-Dec-14 15:56:29

My experience with DD was pretty the same as yours OP, and DS could not be more different from his big sister, he's such a calm, easy-going little chap.

People still like to make out that DD was "my fault" by claiming that it's because I "know what I'm doing now". Nope, I'm parenting them in exactly the same way, it's definitely them, not me!

TheBookofRuth Wed 10-Dec-14 15:56:55

Ha, cross-post!

Pengyquin Wed 10-Dec-14 16:01:03

Honestly, I think there is a slight element of it's no2

BUT having said that, my no2..dear god..the first 7 weeks were horrific. He had terrible colic and just screamed the place down. With a 17month old as well, I was beside myself!

He's now the most chilled out little baby you will ever meet smile

I think though when you have a second, in general, you're not as precious about picking them up all the time, taking them with you when you have a shower, constantly moving them room to room, changing them for the slightest bit of milk dribble on them etc etc..therefore you do have more time iyswim.

I'm always a little blush when I think about how I used to moan about how tired I was etc etc when I just had the one baby! My days now with the 7month old just on his own are my relaxing days where I get loads done hahaha, but with DD (who was an easy baby really) I could barely grab a shower (no idea now why!)

whatithink Wed 10-Dec-14 16:03:47

I have twins, treated exactly the same, one was very high needs, one wasn't.

AuntieMaggie Wed 10-Dec-14 16:05:17

Thank you for this CheshireSplat - I hate when people say to me "it's always hard with your first"

What I have noticed about ds though is that as well as being high needs he has more character than other babies of his age and more enjoyable which makes up for it.

SleepyMcgee Wed 10-Dec-14 16:17:25

OP thanks for posting this. I've had a sod of a day with my DD. Didn't get out to baby group with her and my back is killing from carrying her around in the sling. I can't stand or sit with her in the sling though; oh no, she wants me to keep moving around.
I do wonder sometimes if we've moulded her to be like she is as she is a reflux baby and was held a lot. However I've read Dr Sears website re high needs babies and tbh she does fit a lot of characteristics.

Pengyquin Wed 10-Dec-14 16:24:16

auntiemaggie You'll only realise what they mean though if/when you have a second! grin You wait!

AuntieMaggie Wed 10-Dec-14 16:43:00

Pengyquin when I have a second?! fhmm dp won't come near me just in case lol. Even the mws and HV commented that ds has "character" so I had an idea it wasn't just me fgrin

Chickz Wed 10-Dec-14 17:09:50

I have a high needs 14 month old but she just cries alot of the time. It's so tough. I hope it gets better soon. I'm
So glad your second is really chilled, you deserve it. Parenting a high needs baby is the most challenging and difficult thing ever and nothing could ever prepare me for what I've gone through over the past year. It's been hell but slowly things are getting better and she doesn't cry or whinge as much as she used to. Enjoy your new baby Cheshire!

Goldmandra Wed 10-Dec-14 18:14:45

I had my high needs baby first and I was on my knees from sleep deprivation and having her permanently attached to me for the first two years . She's now 17 and has been a delightful teenager.

When DD2 was born she was a dream. She knew from day one that night times were for sleeping for a start. Although she had to be attached to me 24/7 for the first month due to being unable to maintain her own body temperature, once she was able to be put down, she was an absolute star. She could be put to bed awake, was very happy to lie under her play gym for long periods and has always been able to play independently.

If I'd had DD2 first, I would probably have been very smug about my parenting skills and I wouldn't have waited six years to have number 2.

JoandMax Wed 10-Dec-14 18:20:43

Number 2 was my high needs baby, number 1 was as easy as anything.....

He's 4.9 now and still challenging but my god he is so worth it!

dancingwitch Wed 10-Dec-14 18:25:13

My high needs baby (now toddler) was my second so it wasn't a case of it being no 2 & me knowing what I was doing. If he hadn't been no 2, I think it would have been more hellish as I would have thought it was due to something I was doing or had done.
I now say that the best thing about having 2 is that you realise what you do has little impact and it all depends on the child (within reason that is). The tried & tested things that "always" worked with DC1 and which baffled me when others didn't try them with their DC didn't work for DC2 at all.

AuntieMaggie Wed 10-Dec-14 20:57:47

JoandMax that's how I feel about ds smile

Ashwagandha Wed 10-Dec-14 21:03:51

My high needs baby is now a gorgeous three year old. Still doesn't bloody sleep, still has superhuman energy levels. Sadly, the memory of his babyhood and the fact that I haven't slept longer than four hours in three and a half years means there'll never be a number two to compare him to sad

Bootoyou2 Wed 10-Dec-14 21:08:09

I could have written your post word for word Cheshire! I have actually been worrying that there is something wrong with no 2 as she sleeps all the time! DD1 still doesn't sleep . I have done nothing differently and also get v wound up when people say it is because I am more relaxed and put her down more! I put her down as she doesn't cry and goes to sleep! DD1 screamed and screamed and never slept!

I do deserve a sleeping baby though as not slept for 4 yrs now!

Sunshine200 Wed 10-Dec-14 21:18:26

Very true, I had the same experience with mine. Dd1 was sooo hard, everything was a challenge from clingyness, bath time, nappy changes and much more. Dd2 - a completely different experience (apart from the sleeping!).

Also a high needs baby doesn't necessarily mean a high needs 3 year old.

Pelicangiraffe Wed 10-Dec-14 21:19:35

My high needs baby was my second born and is now 8. He's still very sensitive but that goes hand in hand with being extremely caring, creative, in time with others feelings, intelligent etc

StrawberryMojito Wed 10-Dec-14 21:20:36

So glad to read this post. Am currently 8 months pregnant with dc2, dc1 is 3 and was unputdownable for months, I lived on nature valley cereal bars an was so convinced it was something I was doing wrong. I have no idea what this one will be like, fingers crossed I have a more placid one.

ipswichwitch Wed 10-Dec-14 21:23:31

Both of mine are high needs! DS1 is slightly worse - reflux, colic, anaemia, sleep apnoea and now a sleep disorder or 2 later, he's a delightful if somewhat trying, 3yo.

DS2 was a dream for the first 6 weeks, then as he became more aware, he got more needy. He's now asleep on the bed next to me because every time I move he wakes up (teething)

BlackeyedSantaStuckUpAChimney Wed 10-Dec-14 21:51:36

quite frankly, I thought there was something wrong with ds who only fed every four hours and slept quite a lot inbetween. fconfused dd was high needs. we were relieved when we mixed fed and got her down to 13 feeds per day.

CheshireSplat Wed 10-Dec-14 22:09:55

I'm pleased people have found this helpful. Ipswich, you've worried me now... This might all change in 2 weeks?! shock

vomistheworst Thu 11-Dec-14 06:44:28

My son was a bloody nightmare as a baby. Couldn't put him down, he screamed if I sat down whilst holding him, didn't sleep, crawled and walked early, was into everything. Fortunately my HV was brilliant as one of her children had been just like him as a baby. She kept me sane and reassured me over and over again that some babies just come out like that.

Well, somewhere between 18 months and 2 years old, he turned into the most delightful, reasonable, easy toddler that I've ever met - right as all his peers hit the terrible twos. God, that felt good. He's now 5 and still an absolute delight. My mum says that I was the same - awful baby, but got all my fury out of the way before I was 18 months-ish. So, if you're struggling now, it could well get a lot better soon.

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