I have a high needs baby. She’s not a baby any more but I will still call her that. Last count I did, she was 16 months. On my first I knew his age down to weeks and days but I really don’t have time for that crap anymore now that I have 3 children.
What is a high needs baby?
If you don’t know what a “high needs” baby is, then you obviously have never had one. This means that you have a very demanding little baby who is very difficult to entertain, feed, keep happy etc. They are constantly asking for attention and possibly do not sleep very well either. There are many different “symptoms” to a high needs baby. Some of the people in the high needs groups call them “dragons”. They call babies that are not high needs “unicorns”. I have had 2 unicorn babies. Then I had a third child and she is my dragon.
How could you call your child a dragon?
There are a lot of judgemental people out there that will think it’s just awful to call your own child a dragon. The reality is, sometimes my dragon is an a%sho!e too. I may shock some of you but I know a lot of you know exactly how I feel. I adore my little girl, I love her to the moon and back and would do anything to protect her, but she can be an a%sho!e. Plain and simple. I am not going to sugar coat things just to keep the peace. I know that mothers are constantly at war with each other about who knows best but know this, I am telling the truth here, and everyone else should to. Support each other please.
What is the Reality?
From birth, as some of my followers know, my dragon had reflux. This is common with a high needs baby. She spit up everywhere and then she had silent reflux which was even worse in my experience! I stopped breast feeding due to intense pain and demand, we changed formulas more times than I can count. We were in and out of hospital, doctors, chiropractors and nothing helped her. Nothing stopped her continuous crying, lack of sleep and lack of feeding. My only saving grace was that she was my third child. I am generally a bit more easy going with her. If this was my first experience with a baby, I wouldn’t be recommending the adventure with anyone. Seriously.
She was diagnosed with lip tie at a year old, I missed it. I felt guilty for missing it. Other friends have had children recently and would tell me how great their child was feeding or that they slept all night. I secretly wanted to slap them around the face but out of courtesy, I smile and nod while trying to keep my eyes open. They just don’t understand. How could they? Their unicorn babies are happy and giggling and just light up their lives instead of draining their very existence.
I go out with my little girl, even now and it’s a lottery on how she will behave. Sometimes, she could be great and just be happy to be out somewhere no. Other times she will climb up my leg, cry, have a tantrum or refuse any kind of entertainment or food I give to her. So I decline social occasions most of the time. If it’s involving her, I don’t want to be judged for her behaviour. People look at you thinking that I cannot control my child. I have 2 other, well behaved children but yet I do get judged for her screams. So I don’t go. I make excuses. Then if there is a night out planned or I am asked to go anywhere, I am so exhausted that I don’t see the point. I don’t like getting ready and trying to go out when I have to get up during the night to a crying child. It’s just not worth it. Even asking people to mind her overnight makes me feel bad because it’s not easy asking our elderly parents to get up 5 or 6 times a night.
So I just say no, I make an excuse and don’t go. Some people might think that I need to have a break or get a way from the kids. I do get that, and I get enough of it. I want to be at home. I know she is hard work but I do not want to go out, I want to be at home with my kids right now and I am ok with that. It’s other people that seem to have a problem with it. I chose to have these kids, I chose to be a mother and I will choose to spend time with them. I will get back to you when I find 8 hours of sleep a night from somewhere, thanks.
If you feel like you have a high needs baby, I beg you to reach out for support. There are so many communities and Facebook posts. There are also so many keyboard warriors out there that will ridicule you at every turn. There is always someone out there in the same situation so it’s not hopeless. Please reach out. Comment here if you like and I will give you some great resources to get in touch with. Or go over to Facebook to my page http://www.facebook.com/realitymammy and post or send a message xxx