The Blessing of the High Need Baby

High Need Baby

The first 15 months of my second son’s life were the most intense months of my life. These months stretched and refined me so much.

Having my first baby and adjusting to life with him was so simple. Having my second and adjusting to life with two, one of which was a high need baby, was hard.

There were days when I wanted to run away. There were days when I felt like I was a horrible mother. There were days when I felt like my children needed another mother. There were days when I would just cry.

When he was 7 months old, I felt like I was at the end of myself and went to talk to a Christian counselor. I was concerned I was suffering from postpartum depression but through talking with her, I came to the realization that the biggest issue was my perfectionism.

When he was born, I knew life would change with two children, but I wasn’t expecting it to change as much as it did. I wanted to continue spending quality one on one time with Paxton, continue working as a transcriptionist from home, and keep our home running smoothly, just to name the big ones.

My desire for structure and order did not fit neatly into life with children, especially life with a very needy baby. I identified the need to give up my expectations and focus on nurturing my children more and worrying less about managing my home.

In terms of the perfectionism, I am still working towards overcoming perfectionism. It’s something I constantly pray about and make efforts daily to have a healthy balance with perfectionism and mothering.

While living through these intense months of life with a high needs baby, I just wanted life to get easy. Now that those days are over, I look back and am so thankful for the challenges his babyhood presented me.

Thanks to Weston, I have learned so much about myself and most importantly have realized my complete need for dependence on God in my daily life.

Mothering him has made me a better mother. I have been stretched to the limit and refined through the stretching. I’ve learned to focus more on my children and their needs instead of constantly thinking about the things I want or need to do.

I view his babyhood as such a blessing. Without the experience of mothering a high need baby, I would not be the woman I am today.

Next post in the Parenting Your High Need Baby series: 7 Tips for Thriving with a High Need Baby

I highly recommend The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting Your High-Need Child From Birth to Age Five. It’s such an encouraging resource for parents of high need’s babies!

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links that help support this site.

High Need Baby

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responses to “The Blessing of the High Need Baby” 10

  1. This is definitely a struggle for me. I want my home to be clean but I also have a toddler who follows behind me and undoes all the cleaning 🙂 I'm getting better about making time for the chores that I really want done and leaving the minor ones to the side. But like you said, it's a process. I'm going back to work (like, tomorrow!) full time and I hope that I am able to let go of my need for perfection so I can focus on doing a good job at work, and being a good mama while at home

    1. It is hard finding a balance between keeping the house clean and not allowing it to become an obsession. It is a process. I try my best to allow them to help me, sure it takes twice as long and the job is less than perfect but they feel so proud of themselves and they're learning so much. Congrats on going back to work, that's exciting! I think working mothers are amazing and I have so much admiration for all that they do! Best wishes making this new transition!

  2. Parenting definitely can cure us of perfectionism, can't it? We're given such an ideal of how a mother should be, so that we're all led to feel inferior. You are a great mommy, and your sons are better for it!

  3. I had a nice long response and my internet crashed, typical! 🙂

    Rachel,
    I so understand your high needs baby! Our second, Naomi, is one also. I found it hard to adjust to this when we brought her home and I had two children to care for. Nyla was fairly easy and I guess I hoped that Naomi would be the same way.
    If I could go back, I would've purchased a nice sling or carrier where I could carry her around most of the day. She was a snuggly baby right from the beginning and I know she would've liked it. The few times that she did get carried around in our carrier she fell asleep or squealed with delight. I should've taken this as a cue but didn't. But you live and you learn.
    I know, that in this time in our lives, keeping a neat home isn't the top priority, though I wish it were cleaner. "The days are long but the years are short." I try and keep this in mind as I raise our sweet girls. I find with each birthday they have that it is going by way too fast! But so is life. I'm thankful my husband is okay with a not-so-clean home, I just wish others close to me were. I know that keeping a perfectly neat and tidy home aren't in the cards right now. It's about nurturing and raising our babies. That is most important to me but others just don't understand that. But that's not my problem, I can't control them.
    We are the best mama's for our babies!

    1. I definitely would love a perfectly clean home but we simply strive for tidy. I cannot keep the toilets clean (thanks to a certain 3-year-old boy!), my floors always need to be swept, there are always dirty dishes in the sink and more often than not there are cobwebs in the corners! Sounds like you've got your priorities straight. (And, when I visited your home, I thought it was very nice and tidy!!) 🙂

  4. Rachel, I can't tell you how much this post means to me and how God must have sent me here to read it at this very moment. I have been a fan of your blog(s) for many years now. I have a daughter who just turned six this month and now have a newborn boy who just turned 2 months this week. While I love my little guy so much, he is also "demanding" in that he prefers to be held all the time. (something that is a blessing and a struggle at once). Due to how busy I've been, I haven't been able to check into your blog for a few weeks. I had JUST finished writing to my best friend about how I was crying today from the stress and after hitting send, decided to use the few minutes I had to see what was up with your blog when I found this post. You wrote exactly what I had just wrote to my friend! While I am living my dream as a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children, I cannot believe how much work it is with two! I just wanted to take a moment to comment and tell you how much I appreciate your honesty and how much it means to me and reminds me of why your blog is so wonderful.

    1. Congrats on your baby boy! So exciting and wonderful to welcome a new little one but the high needs babies definitely make life challenging. I am glad you found this post and hope that you remember you're not alone and it will get easier! Weston's first year was a CHALLENGE but we survived. Invest in a good carrier (I love our Boba) and wear him, you'll be able to get some things done and you definitely won't regret keeping him close and loving on him as much as you can! Weston is 20 months now and life is so much easier. He still loves his mama and loves being held but he's also enjoying independence and spends quite a bit of time playing with his brother or on his own.

  5. Oh wow! Aside from the fact that this is about your second and I’m dealing with my first, this could be about my son. He’s so intense and needy. He has slept through the night most nights since 8 weeks (now 12 weeks old) but naps are a nightmare unless I wear him or occasionly trick him in his car seat. I’ve begun an afternoon ritual when home of watching an entire movie while I let him nurse and nap. It helps to make me take a breather though I feel the itch to “perfect” my home.

    The hardest thing is to let someone else care for him because I’m almost embarrassed at how difficult he is. My husband is commuting 2 hrs each way unt we move and is gone 6am-7pm most days. We moved to a new place just before getting pregnant and don’t have a big community of friends and no family nearby. How do I get help so I dont crack under the pressure?

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