We all know that there are calm, easy babies who eat well, sleep alone without problem, and other babies who make everything much more difficult: they have trouble falling asleep alone, they usually need the mother's breast, or the bottle, to be held and cradled. in arms, they cry right away, they eat badly, they don't like food changes…. In short, the latter are the high demand babies and they suppose an extra exhaustion to the parents, so much so that they often think about it before having another baby.
In my experience as a pediatrician and as a mother this depends more on the baby than on the parents. That is to say, parents often feel responsible for the baby's attitude, the baby's crying, and how they are educating him, and in reality what they do is what they should do: attach to the child. And have no regrets for it.
The term 'high demand baby' was coined by the Dr sears after his experiences with his daughter Hayden. Dr. Sears had 5 children and when he had his last daughter he felt that she was different from the other children, since she behaved differently from what his other children had done, and the methods that worked with the others did not work with her.
As she realized that close people, neighbors, friends and family, began to qualify her as crying, irritable, restless ... she coined the term High Need Baby.
1 - They are intense babies: they put a lot of energy into everything they do, they cry insistently, they feed themselves voraciously, they laugh out loud and they protest louder if they don't get what they ask for.
2 - They are tense children, your mind tends to be in a similar state, like ready for anything. They do not like to be still or very attached (for example in backpacks in contact with their mother or strollers). They do like arms and physical contact, in fact they need it, but as long as they feel free.
3 - They sleep little, always looking for new things to do, touch and explore. They also wake up many times, and with the slightest stimulus. They not only need help to fall asleep but also to stay asleep.
4 - They are very absorbent with respect to their caregivers. They demand touch, affection, arms, games, and they are never satisfied. Parents and caregivers must be very patient as they feel that 'the baby absorbs all their energy'.
5 - They eat very frequently. Sucking along with physical contact reassures and comforts them, which is why they often request food. Feeding on demand makes them cry less, because they feel more satisfied. If the baby is breastfed, he will not always be eating, sometimes it is non-nutritive sucking. If he is being formula-fed, he will reject the bottle when he is satisfied and will have to calm himself with a pacifier.
6 - Your demands have a character of 'exaggerated urgency'. It sounds like an emergency siren is sounding. And you never seem to be on time!
7 - Nothing that works with other babies works with him. And if you find something that works, that calms you down, the next day it no longer works.
8 - It is not enough that mom is around, they want to touch her, they want to hold her, sleep with her… Require as much physical contact as possible. They are very distressed by the separation.
9 - They usually take a long time and dedication at meal times as well. They take a long time to eat alone, and to accept changes in food and flavors.
In the face of this type of babies, parents and caregivers have many doubts. They do not know if the baby is eating enough or not, many times they quickly switch to mixed breastfeeding to ensure that the child does not remain hungry, they constantly wonder if they are doing well or not. We should not ask ourselves what we are doing wrong, since these are the characteristics of the baby, it does not depend on the parents, and we have to attach ourselves to them without remorse.
You can read more articles similar to High demand babies. How to act, in the category of on-site development stages.