This post was written in collaboration with Bedon & Bout’chou.
You’re parents and wonder why your child demands, things all the time and never seems satisfied. Nothing goes right, you need to meet your child’s needs quickly, using different methods. And what they want has to come from people that they know and trust. If not, they scream until they get what they want.
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You feel incompetent, worn out, guilty and you don’t know whom to pray to? You’re probably in the presence of a high needs baby, a description developed by Dr. William Sears, a doctor who wanted understand these children to help parents. Often, we qualify these babies as difficult, capricious and demanding. One baby in ten is born this way. Exhausted mothers and fathers aren’t imagining them—they exist for real!
Based on Dr. Sears’s studies, some characteristics are found in these high needs children, but aren’t all found in all of them.
First, your child isn’t sick. It’s important to understand the different between a high needs baby and an irritable baby. An irritable baby feels permanent discomfort. So it’s important to speak with your doctor about your baby to ensure they don’t have an infection or illness affecting them.
Your child is unique—they have their personality and temperament starting from birth. Each has their level of energy, their regular schedules, reactions to new challenges to face, their abilities to deal with their environment, sounds, light, textures, moods and intensity of their reactions to different situations they’re confronted with.
Children considered as high needs often have higher intelligence, have remarkable creative and intuitive power and are rather skilled socially. In general they’re seen as very passionate. Over time, these children learn to balance themselves. In the past we thought that temperament was innate, and few factors could affect it. But today we know that temperament is influenced by their environment. This includes loving and secure surroundings, parent care for the child, and parent mental health.
To continue reading, see The Five Characteristics of High Needs Babies.
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