What To Expect From A High Needs Baby

5 min read

high needs baby
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Many first-time parents and ones who already have other kids feel overwhelmed by how early they begin to discover a discrete little personality in their newborn. Certainly, the same way children and grown-ups have distinct personalities, infants do too.

So while a few of these tiny little ones are the essence of calm and delight, others are “high need” and need a lot more attentiveness. A high needs baby is usually fussy, demanding, and pretty, tough. They might never appear content or satisfied, which can be exhausting, furthermore frustrating.

Although you’re not alone, and it might not seem like there’s any end in view, it also doesn’t indicate you have 18 years of this ahead of you.

Multiple parents experience this with their babies through the first couple of years. With the right approaches and tactics, you can get through these prime years with your sanity whole. 

high needs baby

What qualifies a baby as a high needs baby?

Some babies can behave more intricate than others; this could be the event of nature, circumstances, and several other factors. General characteristics of a high needs baby involve continual crying, demanding extra attention; holding or comforting, improper or irregular sleep or feeding patterns, uneasiness, and easily overstimulated by noise or action (restricting parents from taking their baby out), and resistant to swaddling.

high needs baby

Remember: There is no diagnosis

There’s no “high needs baby” diagnosis. It’s not a therapeutic condition, and all babies whine at times. The peculiarities below are merely signs that your baby might be on the needier side on the spectrum of baby behavior.

Ordinarily, these characteristics resolve themselves as your little one develops into toddlerhood and beyond.

  • Your infant doesn’t nap: As per a survey to the National Sleep Foundation, infants ideally sleep 15 to 18 hours each day, and infants up to 12 months should sleep around 12 to 15 hours per day, however not continuous hours.

    If you have a high needs baby, napping is leisure that doesn’t frequently occur in your house. This isn’t to state that your newborn doesn’t nap at all. Although other babies slumber for 3 to 4 hours at a time, your little ones’ naps are very short. They are likely to wake up after 20 or 30 minutes, agitated and compelling.
  • Your infant has separation anxiety: Separation anxiety (or “stranger danger “) is pretty normal, particularly around 6 to 12 months. However, given time, a few babies don’t flinch when left in the custody of relatives or a babysitter. If they feel secure, they’re ordinarily alright. 

    A high needs baby, on the other hand, might not be as resilient. They acquire a firm affection for their parents — and might even seem to favor one parent over the other entirely.

    Because of separation anxiety, your little one needs you (or your partner), and only you. Any effort to drop them off at daycare or with a different caregiver might approach with screaming that is prone to last until you return.
  • Your baby won’t sleep alone: Considering a high needs baby has more extreme separation anxiety, sleeping in their own room, infrequently occurs. Your baby might only be able to fall asleep right next to you long-drawn after other babies their age have embraced more self-confidence.

    You can try a little trick by settling them in their cradle after they fall asleep. Grasp that this might or may not serve. Your baby may sense your absence and wake up whining within a few minutes of putting down. 

    As a note, co-sleeping offers a higher risk of SIDS and is not advisable. As fascinating as it might be for everyone to have your baby slumber with you, the most suitable alternative to keep the peace, in this instance, would be to bring their crib nearby your bed.
mother putting her baby into sleep
  • Your baby dislikes car rides: Many high needs babies also dislike restraint and isolation, so as you can assume, car rides can be a bummer.  Amid separation from you (even if the distance amounts to the front seat to back seat) and being in a confined car seat, your baby might become unsettled and cry when placed in the car seat.
  • Your baby can’t ease: You might seem a little skeptical when you witness other babies sit peacefully in their swings and bouncers while their parents have a snack or grown-up talk. If left to entertain themselves, a high needs baby becomes unsettled, jumpy, and cries continuously until picked up. These babies lead to be remarkably active. They’re always impelling around, whether they’re carried or sitting. 
  • Your baby can’t self-soothe: Learning how to self-soothe is a considerable milestone for infants. This includes a meticulous baby soothing themselves by sucking on a pacifier, playing with their fingers, or listening to a calming melody. This guides them on how to cope with distressing situations. However, perversely, a high needs baby doesn’t self-soothe — so the “cry it out” approach doesn’t ordinarily work for them. Because of their nature, these babies will whine, cry, and rely on their parents to alleviate their needs. And at times, these babies acquire a pattern of breastfeeding for relaxation rather than hunger. 
  • Your baby is delicate to touch: A few high needs babies require constant sense and need to carry around the clock. However, others are remarkably delicate to touch and begin crying whenever they’re held or wrapped in a blanket. Either extreme might mean a high needs baby.
  • Your baby never seems pleased or satisfied: If you sense that you’re falling short in raising a content baby (because your infant never seems satisfied), you most probably have what some would term a high needs baby. You might feel confounded, drained, frustrated, and guilty at times. Just remember that your baby’s nature isn’t your fault, moreover, rest assured that you and your little one are going to be alright.

What causes a high needs baby?

Some babies are merely naturally more delicate. They need additional soothing and attentiveness. They can get promptly overstimulated by their surroundings and need holding and comforting for comfort.

The essential thing to remember is that having a high needs baby isn’t because you did anything to begin it. You might endure over what you could have executed rightly or what you didn’t do. But the fact is, some babies are solely born more sensitive than others. 

The concise explanation to this question is that we merely don’t know. A few studies state that likely causes could involve prenatal anxiety or traumatic birth. Some babies might become high needs after enduring some detachment from their mother at birth. But in a few cases, there’s no definite explanation.

mother holding a crying baby

How to deal with a high needs baby?

You can’t change your baby’s personality or temperament. The most beneficial thing you can do right now is to stay patient and be calm. In the meantime, here’s how to evade losing your calm.

  • Take a break: When your baby only requires you, you might respond guilty, leaving them with your relatives or a babysitter, particularly if you know they’ll cry. However, choosing to take a break is how you’re capable of recharging and stay serene. 

    Let your partner, a babysitter, or relatives take over from time to time. Take a nap, go for a trek, or get yourself a massage. Yes, your little one might cry the whole time that you’re gone. Yet if you’re positive in your caregiver’s capability to remain patient with a fussy baby, don’t feel accusable about separation.
  • Learn how to understand your baby: A high needs baby might respond the same in similar conditions, giving signs as to what might set them off. Be cautious and figure out what makes your baby cry. If you can learn their likes and dislikes, you can make modifications to feel more comfortable and peaceful.
baby sleeping in mothers arms
  • Don’t make comparisons: It’s essential to avoid comparing your baby to friends’ babies who are more relaxed and more untroubled as difficult as it might be. Comparisons don’t ease the condition but only add to your difficulties. Know that your child is unique, and they have unique requirements.
  • Remember, this too shall pass: Family members and friends might make this statement after you vent your difficulties. It might appear like a conserved response, but it’s great advice. It’s important to identify that this phase is temporary, and many babies discontinue their neediness. So while they need a little additional love and care now, their behaviour won’t always be so shifting.
mom holding her daughter

A high needs baby can be physically draining and mentally exhausting. However, if you discover how to understand high-needs toddler symptoms, take breaks, and get assistance, it’ll be more peaceful to cope until this period passes.

I’ll even present this silver lining out there for you — raising a high needs toddler and baby is worthwhile. These kids are bright and variable and manage to light up a room when they enter it. They are fanatically faithful and make it notable clear to their parents that they are the only two stars in their skies. 

Don’t attempt to change your high needs toddler. Strive to parent him or her the most reliable way you can while considering his or her temperament. Admire the intensity in even the overwhelming times because one day, you will perceive just how the high-needs early years moulded the beautiful people they become.