When you’re a stay at home parent, whether it is for a few weeks or months after your baby is born or for a longer period, it is important to get out of the house.
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.
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.
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.
When I imagined being a mom, I wasn’t quite certain what to expect. Sure, I had some images floating through my mind of chasing after little ones on a summer day, cuddling sleepy children in front of the fireplace, and holding my peaceful baby while watching her sleep.
Granted, I knew these Hollywood versions of parenthood wouldn’t be the norm. From watching friends, I knew there would be tears and dirty diapers and less sleep than I was used to. But there was one thing I was sure of: I would always be able to soothe my baby and meet all her needs. After all, that’s what mothers do, right?
We had a good enough start. Livi came out crying but as soon as they put her in my arms, she calmed down. The nurses even commented how beautiful it was to witness. And I’m not going to lie, it felt amazing to be able to calm this tiny new person just by being there. Had I known what lay ahead, I would have savored that moment even more.
I don’t think there’s a single child that likes going to the doctor. But some deal with it better than others. Livi doesn’t handle it so well.
In her defense, she had to endure quite a few doctor visits during her first year due to her reflux. Because of her high need nature, she is also much more sensitive and easily overwhelmed in uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations.
We never had a visit without tears. They start rolling even when no shots are scheduled. And it has gotten worse every time.
Most of my posts highlight the challenges I encounter(ed) while raising a high need baby and now toddler. It may seem that all I do is complain about my life or that I am ungrateful for my little girl. But both could not be further from the truth.
There are several reasons why I choose to emphasize the difficult parts on my blog:
When Livi was born, people would constantly tell me to sleep when the baby sleeps. And I tried but it was not meant to be.
I mentioned before that in the beginning, Livi would not sleep for more than thirty minutes at night and often only while we held her. That also meant that we would not get much sleep ourselves and that it was often impossible to sleep at the same time.