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High Needs….Hmmmmppff!

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
The first time I heard the expression “high needs baby? was from the well-baby nurse who dropped by two weeks after Soren•s birth to see how our little family was coming along. I described to her a typical day in baby’s life: crying uncontrollably between 6 and 8 p.m., up every two hours, refused to sleep anywhere but in mommy’s arms, screaming in the bathtub, nursing around the clock. I told her I was exhausted and hardly wanted to play with the baby when he was happy. I was just content to sit on the couch and admire him from afar while my tired arms rested. I told her all this with tears brimming. When she said “I think he is a bit of a high needs baby,? I was totally offended. In my crazed postpartum mind I thought, •What the hell? There’s nothing wrong with him…my brain shouted….he’s perfect…Now Get Out!? What I actually said was •What does that mean?? She said it meant he just needed extra attention. Hummmppff! But, as the weeks wore on I realized that perhaps she was probably right. I compared notes with every mother I knew to see if their children behaved the same way. Apparently, not all babies are quite as demanding as mine. And some are even more needy. Oh, how sorry I am for those mothers and how I loathe those who have nice hair that brag about how their angel has slept through the night since day one. My baby fits a lot of the 12 signs of a high needs baby. He needs held a lot; he still hasn•t slept through the night; he’s vocal; he’s serious; he clings to a routine; and he’s in constant motion. He moves so much it has actually alarmed members of our family. His temperment has earned him the nickname the Evil Dark Lord or EDL for short. Luckily, I fully went into motherhood expecting it to be just like this because I really thought all babies were this way. I’ve tried not to make a big deal out it as I’m not altogether convinced there even is such a thing. But I finally took a look at what the oracle Google had to say. Most websites make it seem like these babies are just evil. One article is titled “Loving the High Need Baby? . Come on! Get over it already! When my baby isn•t being the EDL he’s the most sweetest, cutest little booger you’ve ever seen. And nobody on God’s green earth could help but fall in love with him. Perhaps he's a handful and will continue to be as a toddler. But my "Book of Lies" also says that high need babies walk and talk earlier, are leaders, and have higher IQ's. It's probably a lie, but I like to think he needs all of this attention because he's smart.