My daughter Lane has rarely been an easy-going child. I saw it coming, basically from the first day she was alive. Not content to ever, ever be alone, I didn’t get any sleep in the hospital until I brought her into the hospital bed with me. Then I figured out really quickly if I was going to get any sleep once we got home, she’d have to be in bed with us there, too. Naps happened more often than not on my lap or at the breast, or in the Baby Bjorn. And I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The baby books warned me not to let her sleep too long, but she wouldn’t sleep more than 45 minutes at a stretch. The baby books warned me not to let her to go too long between feedings, but she wanted to nurse every hour.
I think she was a couple weeks old when I sort of came to terms with things, with accepting our version of normal. Finding the Dr. Sears books and website really, really, really helped too. Discovering the term “high need” and realizing Lane was not the first baby to just need a bit more of her parents than might be average.
Having a baby attached to you, in every sense of the word, might seem like it’s a pretty big burden to bear. And I won’t lie about it, there were many times I wished she would just let SOMEONE ELSE help her, even for ten minutes, without screaming like a banshee. But I gotta admit, there are some wonderful things about having a child bonded so closely with you, with such high needs. We had so many precious, intimate middle-of-the-night snuggle/nursing sessions, when the house was quiet and dark and cool. Feeling the pressure of her in-and-out breathing in her sleep as I would wear her in the Bjorn or sling as I finally got a chance to do some laundry or dishes. How she’d be glued to me for a good hour after I’d pick her up from day care once I went back to work, where she just insisted we sit still and cuddle and nurse and just be together to reconnect after a long day apart.