Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fussy Babies

Last week, I set about reading the Dr. Sears book, The Fussy Baby: Parenting Your High Need Child, and let me tell you, I have been "amen"-ing ever since. For those of you who are not familiar, Dr. Sears is basically an awesome attachment parenting version of Dr. Oz. He has a great website with lots of help and advice for parents on health issues, vaccines, breastfeeding, fussy babies, etc. During Everleigh's early colic months, I spent a great deal of time on his website getting support and encouragement to hang in there.

In reading The Fussy Baby, I'm reminded so much of how different one kid is from the next, and how trying "high-needs" kids can be. For clarification purposes, Dr. Sears uses the term "high-need", to describe kids who are more clingy, intense, sensitive, poor sleepers, etc. and require more from parents and caregivers than your average baby/kid....not a kid with a physical or mental/developmental disability. He talks in the book about how these fussy babies often go on to be challenging toddlers who like to nurse well into their toddler years (his wife nursed their high-need baby, Hayden until she was 4 years old!), have difficulties sleeping (high-need babies usually do better with bedsharing or co-sleeping...cry-it-out is a train wreck with this temperament), and are very sensitive to change and transition/alternate caregivers, etc.

The upside? These kids are also typically very smart, engaged, attuned to the needs of others, and assertive. Dr. Sears remind us to view parenting as a long-term investment. It may be difficult now, but the payoff is the tight-knit bond you form with your child and the blessing of being able to guide a child through the world--even if that child has a temperament that is different from your own.

1 comment:

amira said...

Amen, Amen, Amen. I didn't discover Dr. Sear's high-needs baby advice until after Aiman was well into toddlerhood, but everything he wrote about it was like the clouds opening up to the heavens --this is a normal things for some babies and not a punishment.

I really thought that it was just part of babyhood, but with two kids with different temperaments now, I see that Aiman was just a high needs baby and Manaal isn't. (THANK YOU GOD.) He's also quick as a whip and very attuned to his surroundings/people's emotions, so Dr. Sears was right about that too.

I'm glad I did what he suggests, even if I didn't know to do so then --just did whatever worked and that was always what he suggests to do. The Sears family knows their stuff!