Livi has some funny quirks. Most of them make me smile, some of them can get a little tiring over time. And others make me wonder and worry a little. But every time I bring them up with our pediatrician, she tells me that they are normal for a toddler who is figuring out the world around her. I just don’t know.
It is even more important when you have a high need baby but then it is also much harder to do and sometimes even impossible.
After Livi was born, my husband was able to take a leave for two weeks and work the third week from home. Then I was on my own.
Trying to get out of the house with my husband’s help was a huge undertaking. Doing it on my own, was almost impossible for the first three months.
“Bird,” or her version of it, was one of her first words and her face lights up whenever she sees or hears one.
We encounter many birds on our walks and hikes but I thought, why not bring them a little closer to home without actually having to take care of a pet bird.
We finally found the time to go on our first trip as a family. While there were a few hiccups and plenty of meltdowns, it was an encouraging and overall successful experience. And most importantly, it was so nice to get out and “travel” again.
You see, my husband and I used to travel all the time. Most of our weekends, we were out and about. We both get antsy spending too much time at home. We love the outdoors, hiking, visiting new cities, exploring, and sightseeing.
The first year after Livi was born, was tough in so many ways and one thing that made it even more difficult was that we couldn’t go farther than our neighborhood park, and some days we did not even make it that far.
When I think about Livi, one word that comes to mind is unpredictable. This characteristic was hard to accept and difficult to handle when she was a baby and now that she is a toddler, it can mean a lot of frustration for all of us.
When she was a baby, pretty much everything about Livi was unpredictable. When she would sleep and for how long. When she would eat and how much. What calmed her down today, wouldn’t work tomorrow or next week. Going to the grocery store was a wondrous adventure one time and the most scary experience the next. It was hard to make any plans and if we did, they usually fell through.
Last weekend, the weather was unbearably hot and so we decided to drive to the coast for the afternoon. We had a great time. Livi even slept in the car for a little while and was in a good mood when she woke up.
The way back was, as usual, not so pleasant. Livi hates getting back into her car seat and so she sung her usual song of intolerable parent cruelty. I usually sit in the front, but if she gets too loud, I do sit in the back with her trying to keep her occupied.
This time, however, things were a little different. We decided to take a different route, which winds through the mountains. I get car sick, but since I was sitting up front and since toddlers aren’t supposed to get carsick (according to hearsay soon to be disproved), we didn’t think twice about it.
When Livi was a baby and would cry all the time, I got a lot of advice, both solicited and not, on how to calm and soothe her. I would also search online for anything that might do the trick and give us a break.
As a result, we tried a lot of different techniques, gadgets, and baby equipment. Some of it didn’t work; some made a (slight) difference. But we also found a few ways that really worked for us. I will cover both, the hits and the misses. High need babies are so unpredictable; what didn’t work for us, may just be what you are looking for.