You may find yourself a bit perplexed at some of the terminology you’ve seen used throughout this site; terms like colic, high need (high needs) and spirited. There are many possible situations or triggers that may have brought you here, but one thing is fairly certain: your baby or child is fussier and ‘needier’ than you expected.
This post will point you to some of the best resources available on the topic of the high needs baby (we use high need and high needs interchangeably through this site). If you have a newborn who cries and fusses most of the time, you may have a high need baby. If you have a newborn who usually only cries in the evenings, or at set times during the day, he or she likely has colic, and should outgrow the excessive crying by around 3-4 months of age. If you have an older child (1 year+) who is fussy, resistant to routines and more persistent than other kids, you may have what we call a spirited child.
If your child is fussy due to temperament, then oftentimes we’ll see all 3 (colic, high need behaviours, spirited) over their first few years. Temperament is evident from as early as a couple of days old, and for many of us, this temperament was evident in our spirited kids right from birth!
If you have a high need baby, parenting is probably not what you expected. It’s gruelling work, and you may feel jealous and resentful that everyone else seems to have ‘easy’ babies. Please know that there are many parents (myself included) who are here to support you through this journey.
These high need babies really do turn out to be the most amazing kids…all the extra effort you put in now will pay off in spades over the next few years!
12 Features of a High Need Baby (Dr. Sears)
Raising a High Needs Baby (Dr. Sears)
High-Need Baby (Today’s Parent)
Could You Have a High Need Baby? (5 Minutes for Mom)
Research On High Need Babies [Fact Sheet]
50 Secrets To Parenting A Spirited Child
What Is A High Need Baby?
What’s The Best Parenting Style For High Need Kids?
Do You Have A High Need Baby or Spirited Child? [Quiz]
7 Tips For Flying With A Fussy Baby