What It's Really Like to Have a Baby With Intense Needs

July 09, 2021

What It's Really Like to Have a Baby With Intense Needs

Babies, specifically those with intense needs - are ones who constantly need and crave physical contact.  Between tears, struggles to calm down "on their own" and to gain autonomy, they don't leave their parents much and offer them little respite.  We have collected the testimony of Caroline, mother of a baby boy BABI to hear her experience of caring for a baby with intense needs.

“Before I gave birth to my son, I thought that my life as a mother would be a long, calm river, cradled with calm, tenderness and kindness. It is true that things had already started badly: my childbirth was a real chaos, and the sequels of diapers more than complicated… as bad for my baby as for me! The forceps had left him with a nasty stiff neck, a hell of a GERD (Gastro Oesophageal Reflux) and some infant colic. The total!


BABI was just crying. From morning to evening, from evening to morning. I was exhausted, sleepless for centuries, and had to keep him in a sling 24/7. I told myself that it would settle down after a few days, a few weeks at most… Finally, after the physiotherapy and osteo sessions, his stiff neck and GERD subsided… but not the crying! ”


Learn to live with a BABI

Like many parents, separation when going to bed was a special moment… Caroline says:


“The most complicated moments were bedtime… and sleep in general. Whether for a nap or for the night,  going to bed was synonymous with crying. The first time he slept alone, he was 16 months old… Until then, he woke up to 4 times a night and only fell asleep in my arms.

Later, he even started to self-mutilate by slamming his head on the floor to show his displeasure in addition to crying. The exhaustion went hand in hand with the guilt and the remarks of my entourage: "Is it he or you who refuses the separation? »«  Let him cry! "Try the 5-10-15 method to teach him to fall asleep"

And then one day, exhausted, I made the decision to let him cry in his bed… He screamed so much that he almost drowned in his own regurgitation. I had the fear of my life and, since that day, I never let him fall asleep unattended again… And in fact it works much better like that! ”


Daily life with a baby with intense needs


“Living with a Baby with High Needs is a lot of listening, observing and caring. It is to be constantly in appeasement, in anticipation and in accompaniment. And that, I especially became aware of it when my 2nd child arrived - who had more “conventional” needs. However, I love my child deeply. His hypersensitivity and his need for attachment have created a particularly fusional bond between us. So it's true that it's a lot of energy, but so much love every day! ”



Today, we also have our child followed by a child psychiatrist who helps him beyond what we can do as parents. I think that the intervention of a professional helped us a lot and relieved us of guilt, us his parents. His entry into school also taught him a lot to manage his emotions and to "fit into the mold" as we can hear. However, he kept a great sensitivity and a need for attention of his own! But since that's what defines it, we don't see anything wrong with it. The important thing is to love your children for who they are, and not for what you want them to be."


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