Babies cry, especially during the first few months of their lives. It is their way of communicating. Whether they are hungry or lonely or have a full diaper, crying is how they let us know that they need us.
Some are also plagued by gas in their tummy, which is painful and upsets them. Others suffer from reflux and spit up a lot.
Livi did not have an easy start in that regard. As a high need baby, she already cried a lot more than other babies. But she was also unfortunate enough to struggle with a gassy tummy and reflux. Both seemed to upset her more than other babies and perhaps this was also due to her high need nature, I am not sure.
When you are a new parent, people will tell you not to start any bad habits with your child. Do not nurse or rock or walk her to sleep. Do not hold him too much. Do not pick her up every time she cries. And on and on and on.
But when you have a high need baby and it is midnight and your child has been crying since six in the evening, you are ready to do whatever it takes to get your child to sleep.
I always wanted a career. I always wanted children. But I could never quite figure out how to do it all.
Part-time work, day care at the office, stay at home dad? Nothing seemed quite right. Being a stay at home mom honestly never even crossed my mind. My husband, on the other hand, was more than eager to be the stay at home parent, at least theoretically.
In the end, everything worked itself out. The economy tanked and when I got pregnant, my husband was the one with the bigger paycheck. Since I wanted to nurse, it made sense that I would be the one staying at home in the beginning. Eventually, we would look for a good day care.
Sleep or lack thereof is a big topic in our house. It would be impossible to cover it all in one post. So I am just going to start at the beginning…
It has always been difficult for Livi to fall asleep and to stay asleep. Judging from how active she was in my belly when I was pregnant, I think she even had trouble sleeping back then.
I mentioned before that she was a hyperactive baby. Now she is a very busy toddler and even more active than ever before. That very same characteristic is what makes it so hard for her to calm down at bedtime.
A recent post by Sleeping Mom @ Sleeping Should Be Easy, reminded me of something I came to realize when Livi was only a few months old: our “normal” is different.
In her post, Sleeping Mom urges us not to compare our children and their skills too much as every child has his own personality and develops at her own rate.
But when Livi would cry all the time and not sleep and only wanted to be held, I could not help but compare her to other babies. In my sleep deprived state, I could not understand why other babies slept through the night, enjoyed playing on the floor and happily lounged in their swing while Livi did not.
We all know days like these, when things keep piling up and worry seems to overtake us. One thing after another goes wrong and pretty soon we hit a wall.
The last few days, really weeks, have been like this for me. Livi is having (more) trouble sleeping again and I worry that she is not getting as much sleep as she needs. And she is still not showing much interest in finger foods, which also worries me.
Add to this her newly discovered, short but intense temper tantrums, her fussiness, and her clinginess, and I cannot help but feel overwhelmed by it all.
Which problem do I tackle first? How do I deal with it? And what do I do if I cannot take care of it myself or things get worse? When these questions keep my mind busy, I know it is time to do something and sort things out.
When I was pregnant with Livi, we went to a couple of childbirth and baby care classes. During one class they mentioned baby sign language. I found the idea interesting but was not convinced. They recommended to start teaching at around 6 months.
Enter Livi at 6 months old; we were still in full blown survival mode and I had more pressing issues on my mind than baby sign language.
When Livi was about 1 year old, we came across a board book called Baby Signs. I liked the idea of using a board book to teach the signs and Livi seemed interested in the pictures, so we bought it.