The High Need Baby: Demanding

I do not really like to use the word ‘demanding’ when I talk about Livi. Somehow it brings to mind images of a little diva or princess telling us her demands and yelling until they are perfectly met, while we, her servants, quietly hurry to meet her needs.

While nothing could be further from the truth, there were times when we felt just like that. It is hard not to when your baby just keeps crying and seems unsatisfied no matter what you do.

When Livi cried as a newborn because she was hungry or tired or had a full diaper, we thought something terrible had happened. So loud were her cries and so desperate that there was no way to mistake her signals, she needed us that very instant.

For us, this trait was hard to accept and it took us some time to learn to live with it. I am not going to lie, we felt manipulated and controlled by her, especially when she wanted to be held all the time.

We had been told repeatedly by other parents and our pediatrician that we could not spoil our baby for the first few months of her life. And yet it felt like we were doing just that.

When we found out that Livi was a high need baby, we learned that babies like her are especially strong willed. She simply needs a strong personality to get her (high) needs met.

She also always had a hard time waiting for a response. If she is not tended to immediately, she keeps persisting loudly with an intensity that is amazing for such a small person. Her protests can be so intense that she sometimes even has physical symptoms like a rash or diarrhea.

Thankfully, she is now getting to an age where she begins to understand that mom and dad also have needs. And even though it is still difficult for her to wait long enough for us to actually meet our own needs, we are slowly making progress.

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4 comments on “The High Need Baby: Demanding

  1. I sometimes felt like my baby was a high needs baby although I think it may have just been different temperaments, especially when others told us about their high needs babies. I can’t imagine the patience you must have developed, in addition to parenthood being difficult already as it is!

    • hnMom says:

      It definitely hasn’t been easy and we still have many rough days. But there are more good days from time to time now, so it is getting easier.
      Sometimes I think it’s not that bad and then I see other moms with their kids or talk to my friends and I realize, “our normal” really is completely different. But she is totally worth it. 🙂

  2. tersiaburger says:

    My 37 year old daughter is terminally ill. She has always had “High emotional needs” As a baby up until today. Vic was diagnosed at 18 months with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. I am not a very demonstrative person. I love my own company. Vic still lives with me with her two beautiful sons. I often feel that I failed my child.

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