Loving My High-Needs Boy

From the moment of his arrival into this world, we knew that Miles was different.  After a mere 15 minutes of pushing, he announced his entrance with eyes open and lungs screaming.  He hasn’t stopped since.

We know several babies about Miles’ age, and it was pretty obvious that he is not the same as them.  While all the other newborns slept and get passed around frequently, Miles would be looking around with alert eyes, not wanting to miss out on anything.  When he did sleep, it was only in familiar arms, and he didn’t bear getting passed around.  I feared going out in public alone, wondering if he’d start screaming (that boy is loud).  Feeding him isn’t guaranteed to quiet him down like most babies!

Nothing can fully prepare you for being a parent, but I felt like Miles failed to line up with anything I’d ever been taught about babies.  He hated swaddling, didn’t like the swing, and screamed in the car.  Rocking him to sleep was out of the question…Mama and Papa had to be walking around bouncing him, usually singing and usually with a pacifier.  He rarely ever fell asleep nursing.  He was just plain different.

You see, we’ve got a classic case of a high-needs child on our hands.  And you know what?  That’s okay!  There’s nothing about his personality that we had any hand in.  God created our little man to be special and unique.  He’s a lot of work (what baby isn’t), and sometimes I just feel very drained and exhausted.  But I wouldn’t change him for the world.

You see, we may be constantly on edge, wondering how we can calm our screaming baby.  We may get our fair share of a work out, come a couple of months when he’s up moving.  We may always have a strong-willed child on our hands.  Yet, we enjoy the special person that he is.  We love how alert he is, always wanting to take in the world.  We love that he’s not plain and boring, and always has us on our toes.  We love watching his strong personality emerge. 

Every time my little high-needs boy gives me his biggest grin (which is often, despite his fussiness), nothing else seems to matter any more.  I know without a doubt that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  Some days are harder than others, as Miles is anything but predictable.  With God’s strength, however, I know I can make it through.  I don’t want his high-needs personality to distract me from missing out on the wonderful gift that he is.  Just because he’s a bit different doesn’t mean he’s all challenging!  He loves to look at things and “talk” to anything he can.  His favorite thing to do is go for a walk outside where he can see everything, yet still be safe in Mom and Dad’s arms.  His sweet smiles could melt anybody’s heart. 

One thing I know: God put little Miles in our family for a reason…and I’m so blessed that he did.

Miles

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3 thoughts on “Loving My High-Needs Boy

  1. Just a thought to think on… Nadia was my least happy/sleepy baby, although she didn't cry like Miles does. When she was a toddler we discovered that she is allergic to gluten. I have another friend whose “problem” baby ended up having a severe dairy allergy as a toddler. It really makes me wonder if they were getting enough of the gluten/dairy in our milk to make them unhappy. Have you thought about eliminating any common allergens from you diet?
    Abigail

  2. 🙂 Yes, some babies are just more challenging than others, aren't they?! But such a blessing! My baby is not a particularly challenging one, but I remember when my little brother was a baby. He was definitely a high-needs little boy, and continues to be a strong-willed child, although now, at age eleven, that is becoming so much more of a strength than a weakness, and he has always been a delight, just because he is so different from other kids. I'm so happy for you guys, and it's good to see you rising to the challenge of being a good mom to your son!

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