5 Tips to Surviving a High Needs Baby

5 Tips to Surviving a High Needs Baby

My oldest was a daddy’s girl right from the very start.  At a week old, she already preferred sleeping on my husband’s chest over snuggling with me. She jumped into the arms of every babysitter, grandparent, or even….random person at the grocery store that put his/hers arms out.  At the time, I mourned her independence. I used to ask myself, “What am I doing wrong? I thought babies were supposed to cling to mom?”

Mom Life, Baby, High Needs Baby

Enter baby #2, my son.

He started wailing for momma the INSTANT, he entered the world.  And I mean WAILING. He was born with a blister on his hand from sucking on it.  He was primed and ready for round the clock nursing.

This kid did not sleep EVER without being attached to the boob or snuggled up in a Moby wrap.  Even at 6 months, he still does not nap without being latched on. I would get so touched out that even my husband hugging me was too much to bear.  The stress made me short tempered with my toddler, dissolve into tears at the smallest things, and stuff my face with Little Debbie Nutty Bars.

He screams for mommy ALL. THE. TIME….oh boy does he scream…….  

We have slowly found our rhythm. He is not any less of a high needs baby.  I have just found ways to cope with it.

Here are 5 things that have helped me survive the past 6 months of constant attachment to mommy.  

Make Time for Yourself

For me, this means putting the baby is his swing while I take a steaming hot 10 minute shower with the radio blasting.   Find that one thing each day that you can do that is solely for your benefit. Do you like to craft? Read? Exercise? Carve out 15 minutes each day for yourself WITHOUT the baby.


A sturdy wrap or baby carrier can become your best friend!!!!  Baby wearing will save your arms from exhaustion and let you get around with ease.  Some moms can even nurse and babywear at the same time!!! This is a skill I have yet to master, though.  Don’t know how to babywear? Check out your local chapter of Babywearing International.

Get Out of the House

Take a walk.  Go to a coffee shop.  Go Grocery shopping. It doesn’t matter what it is. Get out of the house and around regular people again.  Let people tell you, “Your baby is so cute!!!” Let other people remind you that your baby is in fact a cute cuddly baby and not a screaming banshee that is out to suck every last drop of energy from you.  

Let Dad take a turn

I know that when I hand my son to my husband and leave the room.  I know he is probably going to cry the whole time, and that’s ok. My husband is learning his own ways to soothe him, and my son is learning that daddy can be a good at snuggling too.

Remember this season will end

A nurse at our pediatrician’s office once told me, “These are the longest days, but shortest years.”  Oh boy was she right!! Most days I feel like I have put in a 24 hour day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Yet, I still can’t figure out how my baby is now 6 months old. The time flew by so fast.

It may be a difficult time, but it will pass by fast.   

Six months from now, I will be watching my toddler race around the park and miss that snuggly baby who only wanted me!!!

About the Author

Amanda Arnold is a mom to two young kids. She and her husband have lived in the Des Moines area since 2012. Amanda works as a freelance marketer and virtual assistant for small businesses. She also runs a cloth diaper loan program for low income families in her area.

Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

One thought on “5 Tips to Surviving a High Needs Baby

  1. I needed this blog post. My little guy is 5 months and such a joy but definitely high needs when it comes to sleep & if he doesn’t like something there’s no fussing just instant scream crying. He also loves to chatter, play, and explore so I’m just trying to understand his spirited & opinionated personality but it’s hard to see other people’s babies nap so easy or sleep train in 3 days. I’m one tired mama. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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