Our first year of parenting was difficult. I mean really difficult. I mean depressingly difficult.
I know everyone says that having a baby is a challenge, but it truly was depressingly difficult. I was bewildered by this precious gift from God. I wasn’t a stranger to babies. I had done copious amounts of babysitting, including the baby next door starting when she was a week old. I had worked as a teacher. I had spent lots of time around children. I like babies and babies always like me.
After all that experience and years of praying and asking for a child, I was not prepared for the one I received.
I did not realize Caroline was a high need infant until long after the fact.
I chalked it all up to us being new parents, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, the winter doldrums, etc. I so wish I had found these resources the first few months. I truly believe our first year as parents would have been much happier. Our Caroline fits the descriptions in the Dr. Sears articles below to a tee. I can’t begin to tell you how freeing and affirming it was to read Dr. Sears talk about his own high-need baby. He was an experienced parent who also found himself a bit bewildered by this child who was so much more than the others had ever been.
When I say that I understand what you are dealing with, I truly mean that. If you have a high-need baby, I know how hard it is. I know that other people don’t understand why you can’t make the baby do what you want it to do. They don’t understand. I understand that. You are not crazy! Your baby IS harder to parent.
I can also tell you that it does get easier. We invested so much physical, emotional and spiritual energy into figuring out our daughter. I’m not going to lie. The first four years were tough. Each year it was a little easier, but when she was around four it reached a tipping point where it got much easier much more quickly. We are now reaping the rewards of that. She’s seven and a half now and it is so much easier. She’s a delightful little girl. We learned what works with her and what doesn’t. It does get easier. You will get through this!
I hope you find the information below to be helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment if you need to dump on someone. I would consider it an honor to help you vent your frustrations. I will do my best to respond to each comment on this page because I know how hard it is.
Hang in there! Better days are coming!
Please note: The following links are to interesting and thought-provoking reading. The inclusion of a link is not an endorsement of all its content or the content of the site on which it is found.
What High Need Means – A Story about Our High Needs Baby from AskDrSears.com
12 Lessons Our High Need Baby Taught Us from AskDrSears.com
Changing Personality Profile as High Need Child Grows from AskDrSears.com
12 Features of a High Needs Baby from AskDrSears.com
5 Reasons Why High Need Children Sleep Differently from AskDrSears.com
Parent-to-Parent: 20 Survival Tips for Parents of High Need Children from AskDrSears.com
6 Ways to Help a High Need Baby go to Sleep and Stay Asleep from AskDrSears.com
Support for Raising Spirited Babies from Baby Whisperer Forum (Although this is about spirited babies, much will be helpful)
HELP – How to Enjoy a “Spirited” Baby from Baby Whisperer Forum
You may also find my Raising a Highly-Sensitive and Spirited Child page helpful!