High Needs Babies & Flying

I haven’t been as good about blogging lately for a couple reasons. First, I’ve been trying to prepare for Bear’s first plane ride. We’re going to North Carolina for the Exodus Freedom Conference in less than 3 weeks! 3 years ago when we went down there, we drove, so we were weighing the pros & cons of driving versus flying. Driving was appealing because I could bring my blender for green smoothies, as well as any food & supplies I might need. But that’s an awfully long time to be in a car with an infant, so we decided to fly. We’re taking a direct flight to Charlotte (only 2 hours), renting a car, and driving the 2 hours to get to Asheville.

The 2nd reason I haven’t been able to blog is that Bear has been extra needy lately. Bear is and has always been what one would call “High Needs”. I don’t like the terms “difficult” or “fussy”; he’s just who he is. He’s been like this from day 1, so I don’t believe it’s something we caused or cultivated.

I remember coming across Dr. Sears’ book “Fussy Baby Book: parenting your high-need child from birth to five”, when Bear was about 8 weeks old. It described him to a T. In some ways, it was really affirming, and in other ways, totally discouraging. I kept hoping it was just a phase that he would grow out of.

All babies are “high needs” in some sense – it’s just some need to sleep and some don’t as much, some need to suck and some don’t as much, some need to be held a lot and some don’t as much. He has food sensitivities as well as acid reflux, which adds to it. He’s doing better than when he was younger, definitely, but he still requires a lot of time and attention.

It’s easy to get frustrated when I’m trying to get something done, and Bear wants my attention. As Bear gets older, I’m realizing he has three distinct cries: his “I’m bored/pay attention to me” whine, which is more about wanting my attention vs. actually needing my attention, his “I need you” cry, where he really does need me NOW, and his “I’m terrified, come quickly” cry, which he’s only done when the dog barks too close to him or when the smoke alarm goes off (and we have a very sensitive smoke alarm!). When he’s just whining, I reassure him with my voice that I’ll be with him in a minute and quickly finish whatever I’m doing. It’s generally when I’m in the kitchen preparing his food or mine.

I’ve been struggling to practice acceptance. I have many things I’d like to do, and even things I really need to do. But I figure soon enough, Bear will outgrow his desire & need to sit in my lap & take a nap like he is now. Today, I can choose to fight against Bear’s needs, or I can accept him for who he is and cherish his babyhood. I think I’ll do the latter 🙂

2 thoughts on “High Needs Babies & Flying

  1. As you know, I don’t have kids yet, but I’m eating up everything you have to say here. Aleksey and I are hoping to have children someday, and I have a feeling your experiences will be helpful in my future! I love you, Brenna Kate! Keep up the good work, “Mommy.”

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