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High needs baby and mommy

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  • High needs baby and mommy

    Hi all,
    This is my first post here. This website's articles have been so encouraging to me. Thank you, API!
    My son is 10 months old. He's "high needs" as Dr. Sears calls it, and it's been challenging to have to do so much by myself with little support. But it's so worth it!
    Even so, I know I've been neglecting my own needs. I have several health conditions, so even before having a baby I was prone to fatigue, depression, etc. I always had to eat often to keep my energy up. I have trouble gaining weight.
    Now I'm under what I think is my healthy weight but still within the proper range for someone my size. But I'm so hungry and thirsty and tired and sleepy..... But he needs me to be with him, so I often eat less than I should or eat later than I should so that he gets his needs met.
    It's taking a toll on me, but I can't bring myself to stop meeting his needs first. Now he's got a cold so his needs are even more intense. I feel like I might be coming down with one myself, but I can't get enough fluids b/c he wakes up when I try to get up. Then I have to calm him down again, and so the cycles goes...
    Is this just one of those "grin and bear it" for "this too shall pass" things? We're moving near my family in a few months so that'll help a LOT. But in the meantime my husband is already overloaded with work and helping me. I can't ask much more of him, and I feel guilty asking friends who each have their own struggles to deal with. I need a hug and some chocolate! ;-(

  • #2
    Hugs and virtual chocolate!!
    High-needs babies can be a challenge. We like to use the airplane analogy. The flight attendant tells you to put on your airmask before attending to those near you. In parenting, this analogy can hold true. You have to take care of yourself if you hope to properly care for those around you. Your child is becoming old enough to be able to wait a few seconds while you get something to drink. You can respond to him empathically, "I know you are ________________, I will help you after I take a drink of water." This will also help him to understand that you are a person with needs, too. As he gets older, his needs won't be so immediate and you will work out balance for your family. I'm not a huge fan of the "this too shall pass" because if you're always waiting for the time to be over, you will miss out on the joy of each stage. I prefer "this too will grow me".


    • #3
      *Hugs and chocolate to you*

      It's been a while since you wrote this post so I am hoping that things are better for you guys. You said you were moving to family in a few months so I am hoping that now you have more help! I am far from any family myself and not the most social person in the world so I spent so much of my son's first year wrapped up in being a momma and meeting his every need. I absolutely understand how isolating and overwhelming that can be. My son was also the classic high needs baby so even when we were around family, I felt like no one actually understood what I was discussing as no one could relate to my son's needs.

      For your son's age the biggest things I can personally recommend are baby wearing and including him as a part of your daily activities. Your son is probably experimenting with solids at his age. Perhaps you could simply eat the same things as your little guy to ensure that you get to eat? Cut up fruit and soft vegetables are excellent snacks for the both of you! If you need more fat and calories perhaps keeping some healthier convenience foods such as yogurt, string cheese, nuts and dried fruits would be good options. With your baby snugly cuddled up to your hip you'll find that you have an arm free for so much more! You can feed yourself, do some chores, maybe even comb your hair (such a novelty!).

      And I absolutely second what PaxMamma said, this too will grow me! Sometimes just rewording our internal thoughts can result in such a positive boost to our spirits. I also like to remind myself when I feel absolutely drained and at my bottom that it's okay for me to take a time in for myself and find my own balance. After all we are better mommas when we remind ourselves that we matter too!

      Good luck and let us know how things are going!