When Grey was in the NICU they had him on a schedule which consisted of feeding and changing every 3 hours. When we got him home, he stayed on the same schedule for a couple of months until he started to have some digestive issues. From then on, the trend was more like 1-2 hours of sleep and 1-2 hours of crying. When others would inquire about why we looked so tired, they also offered some well-meaning, but not so helpful advice:
Let him cry it out.
Is he in his own crib?
He needs to learn to put himself to sleep.
Take away his naps.
Do you have a routine?
When Baby Grey stopped sleeping, I did what any other millennial parent would do– I Googled. Feeling optimistic I clicked the “I’m feeling lucky” button and came across an article by Dr. Sears titled 12 Features of a High Need Baby. I probably could have cried after reading it, but I was too exhausted. Grey fit into 11 of the 12 descriptions. I spent several hours on the site reading articles and comments from other parents, and with each word I began to feel more and more confident that there was nothing wrong with us as parents and there wasn’t anything wrong with our baby either. In fact, Grey was just being himself: screaming, not sleeping, crying at even the smallest hint of excitement, eating all the time, and grunting.
While on the site, I also found an article titled Get Your Baby To Sleep. In this post, Dr. Sears suggests wearing your baby for sleep. I had seen a few moms ‘wearing’ their babies on Instagram in cute carriers, but the information I got from Dr. Sears sold me. He suggests wearing your baby to sleep and then gently putting baby to sleep in his or her own sleeping space. Again, in true millennial mommy form, I began my research and read just about every Amazon review for just about every baby carrier out there before settling on the Moby Wrap (because it looked comfy, had great reviews, and it was way, way cheaper than most other carriers). I marched myself (and my mom) over to Target, YouTubed how to use it, and ‘wore’ Grey until he was about 18-months-old.
Yep, that’s right, it worked! Grey was never so happy and SLEEPY as when he was attached to me, cozy in his Moby Wrap . It also helped to keep him calm at get togethers with lots of people, which meant we were no longer social outcasts! We only used the Moby when we are at home and Grey needed some snuggles. When we went out or for longer periods of time at home we loved the Ergobaby 360 (this was a pretty big investment and I would only suggest it if you know that your baby loves to be carried or that you’ll be using it for a long time).
Do you wear your baby? What has been your experience? Do you have a favorite carrier or wrap? Do you have any sleep tricks that worked for your baby?
**I understand that the term high needs baby is not a medical diagnosis. However, I do believe it’s an easy way to identify a set of characteristics that may be more prevalent in certain babies. Other terms that are widely used (and that I might use) to describe these characteristics are fussy, colicky, spirited, etc.**