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High Needs Baby Support Group (thread IV)

(961 Posts)

Yoohooo! Over here!


The last thread was filling up so I've started us a sparkling new one.

The original thread was to support those of us with babies fitting the following criteria:

1. Feeds frequently daytime
2. Feeds frequently nighttime
3. Needs to be constantly held
4. Wont sleep alone
5. Hates the car seat/pram
6. Short naps

Some of our babies have grown out of some of those now, but we're still here to support each other through the sleepless nights and noisy car journeys and to offer hugs, chocolate and wine to anyone who's struggling.

So if that list sounds familiar then come and join us as we delight in our active, inquisitive, curious and restless babies or toddlers!

Mitsouko Mon 26-Nov-12 13:49:53

Hi Natmu and welcome. Sorry to hear that you're struggling. You will find lots of lovely support here, I certainly have!

I am a mum to a HN 8 month old DD - though as she's my first, I don't know anything different. It must be quite a shock if your first was 'normal'.

Nights are still pretty unsettled, but getting easier. And daytime has really improved. DD is very intense, but smiley, cheerful, giggly, super curious and alert. Since she was able to sit independently at around 7 months, she's been much more put downable. She'll now happily amuse herself with toys and play quite independently. She also loves going for walks in her push chair and playing in her jumperoo bouncer - both elicited nothing but screams and tears until about 5 months old! She still spends a little time in the sling when fussy or teething but doesn't live in it like she did as a younger baby - pretty much 24-7 as she wouldn't sleep lying down until 12 weeks.

I have survived the past 8 months only by co-sleeping through part of the night (highly recommend it especially if breast feeding) and having a very supportive DH who has been very hands on since DD's birth. Sadly, he seems to be in the minority as far as fathers who are willing to step up to their share of night-time parenting go. It's no wonder that you're feeling resentful if you have spent the past 3 months on the couch with DS in the pram while your DH gets a long night's uninterrupted sleep!

Attaching the cot to the side of the bed sounds like a great move to begin with. I really wanted to 'side car' my DD's like that but sadly lack the DIY skills!

Bio Ears silicone earplugs are very good, but in all honesty your DH should be supporting you a bit more at night. Or at least being more of a gentleman about the sofa-bed! I recommend you leave a copy of "The Fussy Baby Book" by Dr Sears under his pillow to educate him on the delights and challenges of raising a high need child. The Sears' had three calm and angelic little sleepers before their first high need baby came along.

Good luck and hang in there, I'm sure you are doing brilliantly.

Climbingpenguin Mon 26-Nov-12 13:57:00

co-sleeping stopped working for us a while back. However we have started getting him to sleep laying next to him and it's starting to work now. He has co-slept with DH for a couple of months (although laying on him and rocking still involved to keep him asleep for chunks of the night) but hoping to move it back to both of us. He just cried if next to me, but also didn't feed to sleep either. I think now enough time has passed for him to be settled next to me and no food.

Gradual withdrawal seems to work if you actually have a nice method for getting them to sleep and want to move away from it. We never really had a sucessful way of getting to sleep in the first place so nothing to withdraw from (iyswim)

co-sleeping is great if it works for everyone.

I think we might be coming out of the cling at all times phase. There were good chucks at playgroup where he happy walking around (i think the walking might have been the key there).

sorry not read everything, will pop back later.

TisILeclerc Mon 26-Nov-12 14:42:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jan2013 Mon 26-Nov-12 17:00:54

just picked dd up from nursery she goes 3 days a week... was told she was throwing a strop at times, wouldn't take her bottle, and wouldn't sleep. when i went in i heard her screaming in the other room as they were changing her - she isn't usually like this its quite upsetting for me to think of her so upset somewhere else. she was off last week cos she wasn't well so maybe its just she is used to being at home now or something. my head was just in another place and i left with her, without her shoes or coat! luckily it was really warm in the car, but i bet they are thinking in the nursery what a bad parent i am sad

jan2013 Mon 26-Nov-12 18:49:42

she actually has tummy pains i think thats why shes been unsettled. upsy daisy is cheering her up

Natmu Mon 26-Nov-12 19:24:03

Thank you all for such lovely responses. You've already inspired a bit more confidence in me!
Joyful that's exactly what I'm doing at the moment. I get up so many times then get sick of it and snuggle down in bed with him.
Tis a juggernaut is a perfect description. I feel totally mangled.
Jan2013 I agree about the whole question of comparing ourselves to others. I do it myself all the time. I also feel like I'm constantly being judged as a rubbish mum by other people. I was in a shop the other day and a lady asked me if ds2 was a 'good' baby. When I said he was quite a challenge she said "ah I bet you cuddled him too much when you came home from hospital didn't you?" I felt like poking her in the eye! I've learned my lesson now though. If anyone asks that question again I'm going to respond with a smile and "oh he's perfect". Which he is of course just not in a way I had expected. It's so nice to have you ladies who know what this is all about. I'd never even heard of HN until a couple of weeks ago.

Natmu Mon 26-Nov-12 19:34:12

Mitsouko so nice to hear lovely tales of your dd. DH is certainly not gentlemanly about any of this. I'm not going to turn this into a whinge about him as he has his own problems but he doesn't make life easy for me. Don't think most of it is intentional I think it's just the Mars Venus thing. What kind of sling do you use? I have one but it really makes my back hurt. I bought the Dr Sears book last week but DH is definitely skeptical. It's a shame as so much of it is about co parenting which doesn't happen an awful lot in this house!

PeggyCarter Mon 26-Nov-12 20:52:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jan2013 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:08:19

i hope they won't be thinking it puddle. i think way too much!

yeah i hate that 'cuddle him too much' or 'spoil him' babies are meant to be spoilt. and they think they are like this cos we answer their every cry....of course im going to answer her shes my baby, and i don't have any others to share with so of course she is going to expect all attention. im not even making sense now.... i should get to bed as she has just gone down!

PeggyCarter Mon 26-Nov-12 21:27:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Natmu Tue 27-Nov-12 00:55:26

Jan I'm sure if someone else were relating your story you would be telling them of course they won't think that. Listen to yourself and be kind to yourself.

Joyful lots of people have mentioned controlled crying to me. Your experience sounds terrible. I kind of instinctively knew that it wouldn't work with ds2. He just has that strength of will which would fight it. I did a version of cc with ds1 although a lot less brutal than the full on technique but of course now we have ds2 and I've read up about parenting styles I'm beating myself up over the methods I used with ds1. Poor little man he's the one who bears the brunt of all the stress at the moment. He's very kind and loving towards his baby brother but he's started being very naughty to try to catch my attention, he's also been wetting himself frequently, sometimes 3 times a day, and is having nightmares about me leaving him or DH turning into a monster sad

Softlysoftly Tue 27-Nov-12 01:58:02


Actually too tired to read thread sorry but hi!

<<hands out angel cake and curls up in a corner>>

LittleMachine Tue 27-Nov-12 10:07:35

This - this is what I have. A high needs baby. I love him so much, but I'm exhausted. Thankyou for this thread, I'm going to read it through probably over the next 12 years

DS is 11 months old.

Mitsouko Tue 27-Nov-12 11:54:18

What Joyful said. Words of wisdom there.

I hate the 'good baby' stuff too. Likewise that rather unhinged idea that responsive parenting is indulgent in some weird way. Rod for your back, blah, blah, blah. Look - meeting an infant's physical and emotional needs is not on par with letting a young child gorge on biscuits before teatime or watch telly instead of going to school. It's not a discipline issue.

Rant over.

These days, I just generally lie when asked about DD's temperment or her sleep. I just smile and nod and say she's lovely (which she is). Mostly, because I have no time for unsolicited and stupid advice which generally just boils down to neglecting her in some way. No thanks. The only time I have honest conversations about these things is when I meet another parent of a HN child who is struggling. I think it's wise to be cautious in who you turn to for support, especially if you are feeling at your wits end and not in the mood for criticism.

Ok, rant seriously over now!

Natmu - re slings - DD lived in her Moby wrap for the first 3 months or so. They are sooo comfortable, really warm and snuggly too. Should be great for winter, especially. It's a bit confusing learning how to tie it properly, but very easy with a bit of practice. I also used a Mei Tai on warm days as they are open at the sides and a little cooler than the Moby. DD graduated to an Ergo at around 4 months once she was able to stretch her legs. All are very comfortable slings. I have back problems and they didn't aggravate them too much.

Climbingpenguin Tue 27-Nov-12 21:26:46

i used a kari-me for both of the until 9 months (similar to moby) and now I have a connecta for DS. Only way I get dinner done is with him on the back for 20 mins (he doesn't go longer than that but is fine for long periods in a front carry)

PeggyCarter Tue 27-Nov-12 22:50:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleMachine Tue 27-Nov-12 23:20:50

I've ploughed my way through this thread in between bouts of hysterical screaming tonight. I recognise so much on here, especially the attitude that I have 'caused' DS's ways by 'spoiling' him.
Hope you don't mind me joining you all. I've had an awful day/night. DS has cried all day, except when he's been reluctantly asleep. The only respite I got was work (I do 3 hours a day). I'm exhausted and starving.
I feel less alone now.

LittleMachine Tue 27-Nov-12 23:21:39

Joyful, we only just have sleep here too, for however long it lasts.

PeggyCarter Tue 27-Nov-12 23:36:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ticklemyboobsofsteel Wed 28-Nov-12 14:09:19

<waves at new joiners> <lays out tray of cinnamon buns>

Lovely to have you with us - although not so lovely that things are a bit of a struggle, obviously.

My little man (now 16 months, where did that go?!) is sleeping a lot better these days - we normally have one wake-up for milk, and sometimes he even treats us to a full 8pm-7am sleep, which is clearly bonkers. Last few nights he's been up twice, which is still miles better than the 'milk every two hours around the clock' approach he took until 13 months. Feeling tired this morning though, as DH and I had an <ahem> early night blush. Trying to re-rekindle things in that department a bit. Although usually when I get into bed at night time, I just want to sleep!

Our car is still fubared. The big end's gone, apparently. Which can't be good! My bro is a bit of a car genius and is going to have a look at the engine. I really hope we don't have to go to the expense of a new car (we'd have to get a loan) as we are going to try to buy a house next year and I don't want any debt to affect how much mortgage we could get as it's going to be a push anyway to get enough to afford something suitable. Ah well.

I hope all you lovely ladies are doing okay today and wishing for a peaceful night ahead for us all!

SpannerPants Wed 28-Nov-12 14:37:59

Hey everyone, just checking in as its been a while.

DS has been really poorly ending up with a hospital admission for IV fluid. This came at the same time that I gave up breastfeeding because he wouldn't latch properly and completely mangled my nipples, then I got mastitis! I'm sad that I've had to stop feeding but proud that I got to 16 months.

He's having quite a bit of formula because he's still not eating properly but he's only having one feed a night, usually around 4am (it's such a hassle going down to the kitchen to get it/warm it up) and as long as I'm with him sleeps in 4-6hr chunks. I've bought a nice new double bed for the spare room so we're both more comfortable and we're both enjoying cosleeping again now he's not sleeping across my neck!

TisILeclerc Wed 28-Nov-12 16:26:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleMachine Wed 28-Nov-12 16:53:10

Thanks for the welcome smile

Spanner, sorry to hear your DS hasn't been well. It's so hard when they're sick and you feel helpless. I hope he stays well now.

I've had a slightly easier day than recently. DS has cried day and night for what feels like weeks. Today I decided to give the sling a try, put him in a back carry and he was really happy and smiley. It was a relief, especially to my ears.

At the moment, I work afternoons (I'm a nursery teacher). I am seriously considering giving up work in July as DS is so difficult.

Softlysoftly Thu 29-Nov-12 00:21:49

Over indulgent parenting would mean that my DD1 would be high needs instead of intractabley independent hmm I hovered over her, kept her by my bedside until way past a year ignores fact she is in my bed now at three, did "active play" from 1 month,^active play^ when I could have been reading/dozing wtf was I thinking??

DD2 however I was fully intending to abandon to her own devices, I think she suspected and plotted against me....

So IMHO that is pure bollocks.

<<yawns & takes cinnamon bun>>

Natmu Thu 29-Nov-12 00:53:32

Evening everyone <waves>
I have another question for you good people. If my ds2 NEEDS me desperately for whatever reason (being HN) then why is it that I often am unable to fulfil this need? Today was the perfect example. He was utterly grumpy all day and it didn't matter what I did he would cry. It so often feels as though he is fighting against me. If I pick him up he writhes and screams and if I put him down he screams even louder. Mostly I ignore the writhing and pursue the cuddle and he gives in. Is this kind of thing normal for HN baby or should I be looking at other causes?

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