Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Brilliant High-Maintenance Baby

I have a confession.

I think I might have a high maintenance baby. As I write this, he is attempting to take a nap because he is exhausted. Every 20 minutes he cries like he has seen the boogeyman and needs me to come to him and gently pick him up so that he can calmly fall back asleep in my arms. I lay him down, he sleeps peacefully, and 20 minutes later we begin again.

Play with me!
If we are having an in-house day, he needs me nearby at all times. He likes to look up into my face and make sure everything is hunky-dory. He wants me to read to him. He wants me to play with him. He wants me to sing to him, change his diaper, sit him up, lay him down, put him in the Jump-mo-tron, take him out, carry him around, nurse him, toss him around, bounce him, nurse him while bouncing him, and GOD FORBID if I try to sneak out of the room while he naps. He knows. It's as if he can smell that I've left.

Does all of this make my baby difficult? No! All of this makes my superfluous life difficult! Blogging is difficult, cleaning is difficult, keeping my etsy store fully stocked is difficult, showering is difficult, having a quiet cup of afternoon tea is really difficult.

But I refuse to think about the time I spend with Baby D as difficult. I'll admit that I have felt overwhelmed. I have felt completely burried by his needs and his heartwrenching little cries. I had to make a choice and the choice seemed clear:

If I can't change this situation, then I am going to change my outlook. 

No longer do I "suffer" through naptime, I relish in our quiet bedtime moments. No longer is Desmond feeling "fussy" he is particular and dependent - he needs one of us to help him feel alright. No longer do I worry about my dusty furniture, uncooked dinners, unfolded laundry. I cheerfully spend my days on the floor where he wants me, singing made-up songs about him and his farts and his toes and how much I love him. I joyfully wear him around the neighbourhood to keep him entertained. I happily stay home in the evenings, missing most of the adult fun my friends are having, just to splash around in the bath, give him a baby massage, and cuddle him to sleep at night.

People ask me if he is a "Good Baby" and I still say yes. Of course he is a good baby, all babies are inherently good. If you want to know my heavily biased mom-pinion, he is more than just good. He is spectacular and brilliant and so emotionally connected. And I'm choosing to enjoy every damn second of his baby brilliance.

Tell me I'm not alone. Do you have a brilliantly high maintenance baby?


  1. This is A to a tee. I don't want to call her high maintenance because she isn't. When her needs are met she is happy. When they aren't? She cries. Instead of high maintenance I call her high touch. She needs to be near me. She needs to see me. She needs to touch me. Like you say - it's all about perspective!

  2. High touch - I really like that! I know a lot of Mamas use "High needs" and I felt that High Maintenance was a more positive spin on that one.

    Thanks for sharing your awesome perspective! ;)

  3. I've had four ~ and I have loved every minute!

  4. you know i do!!!
    and he is still my world. <3

  5. Both of my kids were that way. I found I struggled far more with the first one than the second. By the time that Buddy arrived, I just realized that if I strapped him on my chest he was happy and I could spend time with Little Miss as well.

    They are only little once and if they are the type that needs to be close by to feel happy and secure, than so be it. Cuddle away . . . there are years ahead when the dusting can get done.

  6. My little man was like that as well (he is almost 2 now). Except he didn't want me to *ever* put him down except maybe in the swing for 5-10 minutes when he was a little older. Thank goodness for baby carriers. :) It was overwhelming at the time but he has blossomed into the smartest, most fun toddler ever and we are so connected and attached to each other. <3

  7. I agree! Cuddle away! And yes, thank goodness for baby wearing. I wouldn't be able to get through a day without wearing him for at least part of it!

  8. My baby didn't cry much, as long as I held her, rocked her, slept with her, etc.* Maybe some would call her high needs, but I just call that being a baby. I set my attitude to enjoy all those moments because the day will come when she doesn't want to be held.

    *She's still needs all of that a lot and she's 2 yrs old.

  9. My first bubba was definitely a high maintenance, high touch bubba and she continues to be. She will be 3 in July. I am now totally physically and emotionally burnt out and her needs continue. Perhaps I am too selfish but I am now really struggling to continue to constantly put her needs first, especially now that she has a little brother too.

  10. What a lovey time you must be having with your sweet baby. Treasure every moment because before you can blink, it will be gone. My 11 year old doesn't want me to play with him all any more. I miss him.

  11. My oldest was a high maintenance baby. I could not take a shower unless my husband held her and she could see me. Yet now she is a beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, creative 13 year old. I always believed that high maintenance babies know what they want. It will get better she never had those terrible twos because she was talking in full on sentences by then.