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Parenting a High Needs Baby

In utero there was something a little interesting about Baobao – she was highly active almost 24/7 before resting for days and getting right back up into action again. She kicked hard. She would respond back in rhythm to rhythmic taps that I tapped out on my stomach. Sure it was all very cute but nothing that you would think was different. She was also sensitive. If my bump rested on a table she would kick the table through my bump. If a heavy blanket rested on my stomach she would kick hard enough for the blanket to bounce up off me, same for handbags on my bump.

From the moment Baobao was born, there was just a little something different. She let out a little cry, stopped, opened her eyes and looked around the room. People who heard this usually responded that babies usually cry and remain with closed eyes for a long period of time.

They had to do two hearing tests on her simply because she didn’t respond to the first test.

Attempts to wake up this sleepy newborn were met with smirks, cheeky grins, stares or annoyed wails.

In the days to come I would soon realise that nothing the typical baby literature said about a baby, matched who we had.

When we didn’t know if she was still thirsty, this less than a week old newborn would use her hand to fling the feeding cup out of Daddy’s hand, or spit out all the bottled milk and smile.

Sleeping was a nightmare. She would not take to the cot at night and one night in a fit of anger, flung herself to the side of the cot in the darkness. The moment I heard the dull thud I knew that the cot was a goner. From then on the preferred sleeping spots were on the bed, on Daddy, on Mummy.

Nobody knew or understood how to help us handle what we suspected was a smart yet different baby. Not until I came across the term ‘high needs baby’ and the work by Bill and Martha Sears that everything started to slowly fall into place. It was then I realised that breastfeeding and attachment parenting was the way to go.

One year on, this ideology still rings through and at the same time, it is difficult to have like minded friends to talk to simply because of the differences we face. Yet we have made so many discoveries about how to parent our spirited Baobao and this blog will chronicle the challenges and solutions that worked for us.

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