Ways To Deal With Your High
Does your baby cry a lot? Is she not super adaptable? You might have a high-needs baby. Here’s how to deal.
Cathie KryczkaFebruary 4, 2016
Maybe you know an easygoing baby who drifts off at the drop of a hat, sleeps peacefully even while hes jostled from car seat to crib, and gazes at the world from his stroller with cheerful equanimity. Thats not the kind of baby Sammy was. His mom, Holly Klaassen of Abbotsford, BC, is the founder of The Fussy Baby Site, an online community for parents of high-need babies and children. She recalls, Sammy would wake up earlyany time from 4:30 to 6:30 a.m. It was very unpredictable. We never knew from day to day what time we would be getting up. And he always woke up cryingnone of this lying in the crib gurgling and cooing. He woke screaming, so we were on the second we heard him and we had to walk him around the house constantly.
Judy Arnall, Calgary parent educator and author of Discipline Without Distress, knows it can be unnerving to realize you have a high-needs baby. She says, New parents may blame themselves: What did I do? Did something happen when I was pregnant? Or they think somehow their anxiety is causing the baby to be that way. I know. My fifth baby was off the charts. If I hadnt had four babies before him, I would have thought, Oh no! What am I doing wrong?
Is your baby high-need?
very active even during sleep, moves all over the crib
doesnt like to be isolated or confined in a crib, car seat or carrier
Its Really Important To Hide Your Frustrations
I know, I know, this is easier said than done! Instead, give them lots of praise when they ate well or tried something new. Yes, this may mean that you have to ignore some of their bad behaviour and instead focus your attention on their good behaviour, but by doing this, mealtimes are likely to be less stressful and more enjoyable.
Get A Familiar Caregiver To Soothe The Baby To Sleep
Babies are sensitive to the body scent of the caregiver. For some babies, seeing or smelling caregivers they are not too familiar with may also cause to be unable to fall asleep at night. For example, if the father tries to put the baby to sleep when he is normally not the one who does that regularly, unlike the mother, the baby might fuss at the father and is not able to fall asleep. In this case, it may help to use a cloth which has the smell of the mother in order to soothe the baby and make him or her feel secure enough to sleep.
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Symptoms Of Low Milk Supply:
- Slow weight gain
- Baby does not have enough wet and dirty diapers
These are the only true indicators of low milk supply.
However, there are a lot of things that you might be doing that might be hurting your supply. Things like:
- Poor nutrition
- Milk sprays when baby unlatches
When you suffer from Oversupply, a Foremilk/Hindmilk Imbalance likely comes with it.
Foremilk is the milk that your baby gets at the beginning of a feed, while hindmilk is the milk of the end of the feed. The hindmilk has a higher fat content. If your baby is only getting to the watery foremilk, you can expect gassiness, fussiness and green frothy stools.
Solution: Block feeding will help signal your body to produce less milk. Simply feed on one side without switching for 1, 2 or more feedings.
Read: Oversupply and Block Feeding
Causes Of Unexplained Crying
- Hungry Baby. The most common reason babies cry is because they are hungry. They stop crying at the onset of feeding. By the end of the feeding, they are happy.
- Sleepy Baby. The second reason babies cry is they need sleep. They need their parent to put them in a comfortable position. It may be swaddled and on their back. Then they fuss a little and fall asleep.
- Fed Too Much. Some babies cry because of a bloated stomach from overfeeding. Unlike gas, too much milk can cause discomfort that lasts a short time.
- Caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause increased crying and trouble falling asleep. Breastfeeding mothers need to limit their caffeine intake.
- Clothing. Being too hot or too cold can make a baby cry. So can clothing that is too tight.
- Dirty Diaper. Stool is very irritating to the skin. If not cleaned off, it can cause pain and burning.
- Colic. Colic is the main cause of recurrent crying during the early months. All babies have some normal fussy crying every day. When this occurs over 3 hours per day, it’s called colic. When they are not crying, they are happy.
- Pain . Painful causes include an earache, mouth ulcers, or a raw diaper rash. An ulcer on tip of penis may also cause pain and crying. These babies cry a lot and are not happy when they are not crying. They need to see a doctor to make a diagnosis. Fever in this age group is serious until proven otherwise. Shaken baby syndrome is a concern.
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Make Your Own Junk Food For Fussy Eaters
Try making your own healthy junk food using good quality lean meat for burgers, English muffins for pizza bases and a good way to coat homemade fish fingers is to dip them in seasoned flour, beaten egg and crushed cornflakes. For dessert its easy to make fresh fruit ice lollies from fruit juice and pureed fruits.
Colic Vs Normal Crying
The rule of threes is a good way to determine whether your baby might be suffering from colic. Babies who cry more than three hours a day for more than three days a week over the course of three weeks may have colic, which affects one in five babies. Ask your child’s pediatrician if you’re unsure whether or not her crying is considered excessive.
Another sign of colic is crying thats more like screaming and that usually occurs in the later afternoon or evening for hours at a time.
Although there’s no hard-and-fast definition of normal crying, it tends to be the type of tears that you understand and can quickly quell. For example, a rhythmic, low-pitched cry along with sucking or lip-smacking sounds could indicate hunger, while a whiny, continuous cry that grows increasingly louder might mean that your infant is tired or uncomfortable.
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Calming Yourself Is Job Number One
The first trick to calming your baby is to recognize that you yourself are anything but calm. Take a moment to name how you are feeling . After that crucial first step, here are some additional strategies that may help:
About Baby Steps
This article was featured in Baby Steps, a ZERO TO THREE newsletter for parents and caregivers. Each issue offers science-based information on a topic of interest to parents and caregivers of young childrenfrom sleep to challenging behaviors, and everything in between.
Ways To Soothe Without Overfeeding Your Baby
Try these tips to soothe your baby:
- Reduce stimulation. Turn or move baby away from a busy environment, like a room with older kids playing. In public, take your baby to a quieter spot, and sing to or rock them.
- Play with them. Try making eye contact and talking to them, showing them black-and-white or brightly colored pictures or toys, shaking a rattle or showing baby their reflection in the mirror.
- Use repetitive motion with soft sounds. Think rocking, bouncing, rubbing their back, speaking or singing softly, over and over.
- Find a routine that works for your baby. For example, some babies like to play, sleep, eat and repeat.
- Try a pacifier. Babies are born to suck, so pacifiers are often soothing.
- Help them sleep. Babies can only stay up for a few hours at a time they might be irritable because they need help falling asleep. Try the tips above to help baby nod off without a fuss.
Sometimes babies cry, even after youve done everything you can to console them. Many babies have a fussy time of day. Or your baby might be gassy or sick.
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What Colic Looks And Sounds Like
Parents of babies with colic often say that the babies look like they are angry or in pain, have gas, or are trying to go to the bathroom without success. Other characteristics of a baby with colic:
- Higher pitched, more frantic crying
- Sudden crying, starting out of nowhere, and for no apparent reason
- Rigid or stiff body, often with clenched fists
- Bent legs and stomach may feel hard
How To Deal With A Fussy Baby At Night
It is not uncommon for infants to stay awake or become fussy from midnight to 3.00am or 4.00am in the morning. In my baby’s first month, we have a very difficult time at night as our baby just did not want to sleep even after milk feeding and diaper changing. This difficult path of the parenthood journey only ends in our baby’s second month.
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Using Other Methods To Soothe A Gassy Baby
Recognizing The Signs Of A Gassy Baby
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Fussy Or Picky Whats The Difference
The food battle in O.K. Kitchen Corral is a tricky one. You want your kid to eat healthy, nutritious food, and you also dont want them to be hungry. A hangry baby or toddler makes for a challenging day. I am actually surprised no one has created a wine called Hangry Baby, Wine for Defeated Parents.
Snacks are also another area of concern. We give our babies cheerios or pieces of goldfish to encourage chewing, using the little teeth they have, and practicing feeding themselves, however there is little to no nutritional value in either of those choices, and most babies have an affinity toward anything of healthy value.
For people who dont have kids, babysitters or well meaning family, they give into the kiddo letting them have what they want, however it is concerning for the parent because you know
your baby/toddler needs to eat the right kind of foods to grow up big and strong. Its not like it was in the 80s where Fred and Wilma gave us Flintstones Vitamins, or Popeye convinced us to stay strong to the finish, and eat your Spinach! Is it just me, or were those Flintstones Vitamins actually really good? I think I ate 20 of them one day my mom forgot to screw the lid on tight. I never told her, but I did worry that I would grow 20 feet tall in one night. I kept checking my legs to make sure they werent growing.
Alas, it is not as simple as that and there needs to be a solution that benefits the health of our children, and satisfies their taste buds.
Am I The Reason My Baby Wont Stop Crying
Are you distracted, overwhelmed, and at breaking point? If youre stressed out and exhausted, youre going to have trouble relating to your baby in a soothing, nurturing way. So, its important to get the support you need.
Fortunately, there are great opportunities for overcoming the limitations a parent or child may bring to the attachment relationship. Parents who learn how to calm themselves, ask for support, and communicate with their infants can find the means for creating a successful attachment relationshipessentially teaching by their exampleeven with an upset or unresponsive infant.
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Your Network Is Broader Than You Think
New mums and dads can access a number of resources, although some are not immediately obvious. As well as friends and family, dont be afraid to call your health visitor, GP, or our support line 0333 252 5051). Especially if youre afraid your frustration is getting too much and youre at risk of harming your baby.
The NSPCCs Coping with Crying film is useful, as are the PURPLE crying website and the Raising Children Network. Make sure you reach out before it gets too much. Extreme cases where parents shake, throw or roughly handle their baby can lead to death and long-term disability for those babies .