Your high need baby: Seven ways to cope

If mothering your baby is leaving you both physically and mentally exhausted, you have probably heard the term "high need baby" and wonder if it applies to your situation. Although experts, such as Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, have written extensively on this topic, it is still difficult for parents to draw the line between "normal" and "high need." When is a baby who cries and battles sleep merely considered "fussy" or "going through a phase"? And when does a baby warrant the "high need" title and the extra understanding that goes along with it?

On our message board, The High Needs Baby, parents were quick to share some of their definitions of this new parenting term, as well as some of the struggles and triumphs they have experienced as parents of such sensitive and demanding babies. These first-hand accounts help illustrate common characteristics of high need babies along with seven soothing strategies:

1. Everything in Extremes:

"My daughter is six months old and a wonderful child, but very high need. She's very emotional -- either ecstatically happy, or bawling her head off!" -- iVillager emmiebear

"She is usually a very happy, babbling baby as long as she gets her way. It seems she knows how to manipulate us to get what she wants. Believe me, she know exactly what she wants. If I try to give her milk and she wants juice she will keep on hollering until I get it right. God forbid she have a wet diaper for more than a minute. She will let you know that too." -- iVillager 2girls2luv

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