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.
Part 1: Overnight Guests: How To Prepare
What To Avoid
1. Avoid major changes
Having guests in our house for several nights was at times overwhelming for Livi. As a result, she got overstimulated easily. Anticipating this, we wanted to make sure that everything else remained the same so that she could feel safe and knew what to expect. We left her play area untouched, even though it is in the middle of our living room; and we made sure we stuck to her usual routine.
As a high need baby, Livi is very sensitive to stimulation and changes in her routine. While she does not really follow a predictable schedule, it seems to help her to know what will happen throughout the day.
She is also a light sleeper. We have to stop any (noisy) activities once she finally falls asleep.
Mainly for these reasons, we do not have many visitors at our house, especially overnight guests. We had both sets of grandparents stay for a few weeks after Livi was born as they all live pretty far away, but that was it.
When I was pregnant, I was told to breastfeed on demand, whenever the baby would let me know that she was hungry. That made sense to me and I did not think that it would be a big deal. Back then, I imagined a peacefully sleeping baby, who wanted to nurse every few hours and then sleep again. Boy, was I ever wrong.
For the first few weeks after Livi was born, I felt like I was feeding her around the clock; she just wanted to nurse All. The. Time.
Between the tears and cries and pure exhaustion there are precious moments hidden in every day. It is those moments that keep me going and keep me (somewhat) sane.
Here is the second part of 10 things I love about my high need baby:
6. Precious Baby Talk
All babies start out communicating by crying. As a high need baby, Livi made good use of it. She let us hear loud and clear when something was not right.
When Livi started babbling, it marked a big change for all of us. To hear her sweet voice instead of her screams, even if it was just once in a while, was so nice.
I have been talking a lot about the difficult times with my high need baby. But there are also so many wonderful moments I get to enjoy. Sometimes, they are far and few between and I really have to enjoy them while they last. Other times, I am blessed with several good days in a row.
Here are 10 things I really love about my high need baby:
1. Giggles And Laughter
As a high need baby, Livi is notoriously fussy and well, needy. And it is true that she cries pretty often. But thankfully, that does not mean that she never laughs.
Livi’s laugh is the cutest I have ever heard and her giggles are really giggly. So much so that they often end in excited high pitched shrieks. You cannot help but laugh with her.
Every time Livi gets her shots, she switches gears to a higher level of fussiness and becomes even more clingy than usual. It lasts for about a week or two and then she goes back to her “normal” self.
When she is teething, she is also needier, which I am sure all babies are. This teething business is no joke.
Enter last Friday, when we had an appointment for Livi’s 12 months checkup, which also included a series of shots. She had started teething earlier in the week and I was about to reschedule her appointment as she seemed especially fussy this time around.
My husband, however, convinced me otherwise. His logic was to get it all over with and move on. Since it would have taken forever to get another appointment, I reluctantly agreed.