What to do if your baby has severe needs
Since his birth, your child seems eternally dissatisfied to you, he cries all the time and gets angry. It is only in your arms that it calms down. You may be the parent of a baby with high needs (BABI).
You may feel confused by this" picky "baby and while it is bad to put a label on a child, it can relieve you to understand his behavior, to know that you are not the only ones in this situation and especially that it does not call into question your capacity of parents.
How to recognize a BABI?
Your baby may have all of the characteristics or just a few, but this does not change her great need for tenderness, love and care. span>
A BABI is hypersensitive, the presence of strangers distresses him, he jumps at the slightest noise and often wakes up at night. He does everything intensively: he doesn't cry, he screams. He laughs loudly, protests with great anger, and he needs you to respond to his requests immediately as they are of the utmost urgency to him. In addition, it is impossible to predict its reactions.
A BABI is always on the move and just like his emotions, his activities are also very intense. He has an extreme need for physical contact, but paradoxically does not like to snuggle up. He can't stand being alone or even being placed in a bed, or even in a deckchair or on a carpet. If you take advantage of his sleep to put him down you will find that he wakes up very quickly.
His need to suck is very important, he needs to suck for comfort and could spend day and night at the breast or with a lollipop.
< span style = "font-weight: 400;"> Another point, he hates the car or stroller and can howl throughout the trip. < br>
What to do?
Supporting your child with severe needs is not easy. In addition to the physical fatigue this causes, there is moral exhaustion and the incomprehension of those around you which can eat away at you and wear you down. Even if there is no advice to change this situation, since only time will allow your baby to be less demanding, there are some small solutions to improve everyone's life during this delicate phase. span>
Dr Sears, pediatrician and father of many BABIs was one of the first doctors to recognize the intense needs of some babies. In order to help parents better cope with this difficult period, he gives some advice:
• Think of you
It's natural to put baby's needs first, but that doesn't mean you have to forget about your own needs. You can't take care of an exhausting baby if you are exhausted yourself. If you crack up, you will be of no use to your child. To avoid this, make a realistic list of things that are absolutely essential to your well-being, and stick to your limits.
• Allow your baby a little frustration
During the first months, a baby needs 'to be fed, carried. Meeting their needs is your duty as parents. But later on, if you start reluctantly to mother your baby, you may end up resenting him. Identify your own limits, and accept to impose a little frustration on your baby when there is no other way.
• Priority to your sleep
An intense baby sleeps very little. He can wake you up to 10 times a night, when he is okay with falling asleep. So in order not to sink physically and nervously, sleep when your baby is sleeping. Therefore, also resist the temptation to do a few chores when he gives you a break. More than any other parent, you absolutely need this rest time to recharge your "batteries", and then continue to meet the intense needs of your baby.
• Write what you experience
Write a journal, or a blog, allows you to take stock of your feelings, on what is working or not, and also to highlight the positive moments that you spend with your child, as well as his progress.
• Look at the positive sides of your child < span style = "font-weight: 400;">
Don't get caught up in any negative feelings you may have had. BABIs have many qualities, spot them, be proud of them. Seeing your baby's unique qualities will allow you to take care of him more calmly.
• Be patient
Give your baby time to grow. Accept his personality. Do not enter into a fight with him to make him adapt. He cries a lot, you can't always prevent and relieve him, but at least you are there. In time, everything will work out.
• Gain height
Don't waste your energy on details, little worries will resolve themselves. Focus your energy on what you can change and where you can make a difference. Have realistic expectations and be flexible.
span> • Realize that your child is unique
< br> Disregard preconceived ideas, forget the babies described in childcare books. Focus on your own baby, what he is and what he needs. He is an individual in his own right. Make a clean sweep of advice from friends and family if necessary. Your BABI is unique, it does not fit into the standard models, so what? What works for others won't necessarily work for your baby… and what works for him changes every minute!
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• Do not compare
Being different doesn't mean being bad. Your ways of caring for your baby have nothing to do with other parents. If you compare yourself to others, you might freak out. It can reinforce your negative feeling and the idea that everything is your fault. Look objectively at your child, be less judgmental, love him as he is.
An open space such as a park or a large play area can captivate a child with intense needs, who can leave a little respite for his stressed parents.
span> • Change what doesn't suit you
Your methods and "tips" for caring for your baby change as he grows older. You have to constantly find the right balance between "meeting the baby's needs" and "not exceed your own desires or your capacities ”. If there is something that isn't right for you in your mothering, change it, even if it seems right for your baby. If you persist in a mothering style that works for your baby but not for you, you risk becoming embittered and increasingly resentful towards your baby.
• Find help
Without outside help, you risk crack. Surround yourself with BABI parents, join a support group, or start your own. It is so important to be able to “complain” about your baby, that we love so much, to people who understand us.