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I have the Wonder Weeks book Moxie talks about if you want to borrow it.

Hang in there. In a few months this will be a distant memory. In a few years, you'll think about this and get all misty. Amnesia is like that.


Sorry to hear about your sleep regression, but I'm glad you have Moxie to give you perspective. I didn't find that wonderful woman until my daughter was nearly 11 months old and I was leaving giant bruises on my arms from biting myself while trying to put her down for naps.

She's now a 15 month old who sleeps blissfully through the night, so take comfort -- sleep will improve for all of you eventually.

Beth in Michigan

Well, she is a Virgo after all, she's just preparing for her future life as a workaholic. Clearly she's woefully underemployed, perhaps you should get a small animal for her to chase around all day? ;) Just kidding, this is a rough patch to get through. My oldest wanted to nurse all night too and I had a very hard time getting him to sleep anywhere other then my armpit so I really do empathize. Congratulations on the quads of steel though! Way to find the silver lining!


I'm still hung up on "her usual 120-150." Umm, my son was routinely a 45 minute napper until he was a year. Wow.

Sorry about the nighttime sleep though. I was pretty lucky there. My son stopped nursing during the night on his own at around 6 months, although we did have a hellish regression at 10. Good luck.


I feel your exhaustion...literally. We regressed at around 9 months and have yet to come back at almost 16 (except for a tantalizing two-week stretch of only waking 2 to 3 times a night where we thought "hey! we've finally turned the corner!" but which in retrospect was likely the recovery from a developmental spurt). But I have faith that someday I will sleep again, and you will too.

Jo in Utah

Ha, ha, don't listen to anyone who tells you the kid will sleep through the night soon. False hopes are a terrible gift. Our highest need, intensest baby of normal vintage, (I don't place Little Man there, drug baby and genetic syndrome place him as an outlier) Princess, (hands and knees at four months, crawled at five months, walked at seven and just about drove her ever loving parents crazy before she was two) did NOT sleep through the night until she was five. So don't dream about it, if it happens great, find a way to cope with a wakeful intense child. Little Pea, ha ha is my mother's curse come true on Princess, when Pea is flinging poo everywhere from arching her back while Princess is trying to clean her bum, I laugh and laugh!


Oh the memories..they are coming flooding back.

My first was a high-needs baby. The bouncing and the swaying and the singing and then the lying down and eyes flipping open and much screaming and more bouncing and don't-you-dare-sit-in-that-rocking chair. Oh my. She never took a nap longer than 35 minutes until she was 15 months and finally dropped her morning nap. Then they were rarely longer than an hour.

All I can say is that it gets better. She became an amazing toddler -- still intense, but also bright, curious, and sensitive.

Luckily my second was a much better sleeper!


Hey - Virgos rock! Well, when we're not pairing the shoes in the shoe shelf or having a hissy fit about breaking a glass which means there will now be an odd number of glasses and that will look funny...

Sorry Jo. Mine is having a breastfeeding strike. He who took to the boob and didn't leave for 6 months now writhes and bites and pushes me away. The very day after his first birthday, which is so odd - how did he know? So I got the hateful pump out and we'll see how long this lasts - could he be self-weaning? Ear infection? Teething? Just hates me now? Anyway, he rarely naps longer than 45 minutes or so, and never has, so I guess I won't have anything to miss in that department.


Yes, yes, yes. I am the parent of a hig-needs child. He has to be on me constantly. I wear my Baby Bjorn proudly. I snuggle with him to sleep both naps and at night. Im exhausted too and mine is not even two months old. Sigh.


Thanks for your post. My daughter is 11 months old. She used to sleep waking only 1-2 times a night but lately she's been waking up every hour until I go to bed (we cosleep). We are moving in a month and after she's settled in from the move, I'm planning on moving her to a crib next to the bed. I'm very nervous about it already - I guess because I *need* my sleep and I'd do just about anything to get it.

I also appreciated what you said about Sophia being *intense*. Ellie is the same way, I think, but I hated the word "high needs". I hated thinking I had a needy baby, but intense describes her to a tee.


Around here we say "high-octane" a lot of the time...


As she gets into toddlerhood, you might check out the book "Temperament Types." Temperament is one of the more useful parenting concepts I've run across. One of the temperament traits is "intensity." Anyway, the book offers strategies for dealing with some of the clusters of temperament extremes. What really sold me on the book was recognizing that one of the clusters was myself as a child (active, easily frustrated) and seeing that their strategies would have worked REALLY WELL -- in fact, many of them are strategies I've used on myself as an adult.

Anyway, it's a great book, interesting and useful and very helpful. And respectful of children and their differences and needs, rather than being one-size-fits-all in disciplinary technique, if that makes sense.


the funny thing about a high needs baby whose high needs are being well attended to is that you can't tell from the outside. from all appearances, sophia is just a smily happy baby! people used to tell me on the one hand what a happy, content baby micah was, and on the other hand that i ought to put him down, that i was spoiling him, that he would never (crawl, walk, fill-in-the-blank). of course the truth was that he was a happy, content baby *because* i NEVER PUT HIM DOWN. almost literally, for his first year plus, i held him 24/7, including every nap he ever took. i was lucky that i could generally sleep when he slept, and he would sleep while i was with him, so the sleep deprivation never got too bad.

for me, while it was a powerfully intense time, i look back on it now wistfully and wouldn't trade it for the world!

sorry i missed you the other day. i'll call soon.


My oldest is also high-need, which I find exciting; she really stretches me. I used to get mad at a friend who said she was high-need because I was a "first-time parent." This friend also advocated unethical practices like sleep-training. We attachment parent (love the Sears!) and I think when my friend realized I wasn't going to realize I was "wrong" and turn to her for help getting my child "under control," she somewhat lost interest in me. We just don't have much in common any more.

Lisa C.

If it makes you feel any better my high needs/high octane baby refused to watch any TV until he was over 2 years old. Believe me, I tried.

I feel your pain! I, too, lived on the Sears website reading about their travails with their 4th child (the one who changed everything) and feeling slightly relieved to know that I was not the only person in the world with a baby who went from cooing to dying-cat-screeching in 15 seconds if his plentiful demands were not met.

Of course, when I described his behavior to other people they invariably said, "Wow, Lisa, I've never heard of a baby who does THAT," when I described his latest insanity inducing feat.

It does get better... I promise. Hang in there!


Oh, I feel so humbled by yours and all these other commenting moms' hard times with your wonderfully smart and unique high-need babies. I feel like I don't have the right to say anything about my boys, that I don't have the right to complain at all!! :)

That's why reading about other people's experiences is the best thing in the world to put things into perspective. I do hope it gets better for you, though.


Yep, we had sleep regression here too. Fabulous sleeper at night till she was 9 months old, then up 2-3 times a night. We are now at 13 months old and she is a good sleeper again. One, she hit 12 months and two we got these awesome sleep diapers. Do a search for Olive Branch Baby Very Baby Simply Nights. Her cloth diapers absolutely rock. She also naps for an hour or two at a time during the day now. She used to be a 45 minute napper.


I'm sorry. But I'm glad I could help.

Naomi, I'm going to check out Temperament Types. Thanks for the recommendation.


yeah, I have a definite special needs child too. it something that people who have easy kids just can't get. At the same time , however, everyone loves him, they just agree that they couldn't keep up with him. He is so much harder than other kids, but he is also so much more fun.



I dream about sleep much the same way I used to daydream about making out with Ralph Macchio. And like that fantasy makeout session, sleep just ain't happening much in la casa de Lily.

She wakes on average 4 times a night. This isn't atrocious, I know. And I can usually just nurse her on one side and put her back to bed. But it's exhausting nonetheless. She hasn't regularly slept longer than a three-hour stretch since she was 3 months old. Now, at six months, we keep waiting for some miracle.

I keep wondering what it would be like to wake up engorged at 4am, realizing that I had actually slept six hours in a row, and the babe was still asleep.


Whoo-ow! It's a bad time, the sleep regression, and so hard--how do you get them to lie down in the crib once they realize they can stand? Putting them in asleep works, but one pays for it later...and yet I've still done it with two and bet I'll be doing it with 3 within the year.
I'm told they get older...this just seems like forever!


Oh my, the more you post about Sophia, the more she sounds EXACTLY like Anika when she was that age. Except that until she was about 14 months old, Anika never napped, unless she was in the sling. And at one year she weighed 28 pounds, and I was still carrying her around in the sling to get her to nap. Yes, we refered to Anika as "intense". She screamed, for hours sometimes, she hated baths, she didn't want to listen to music, or watch Baby Bach, or sit in her swing, car seat, bouncy seat, or stroller. She didn't want to lay on the floor or have tummy time or in any way ever be seperated from me or her Dad, ever ever ever ever ever ever. She'll be three in July and she's still very "intense". She needs a lot of attention and a lot of structure. The up-side is that she's insanely smart, when given attention she picks up and retains information very quickly. I'd bet the Sophia is going to be the same way. And fortunately, her 6 month old brother is EXACTLY the opposite. He's almost always happy, and I don't think he's ever cried for more than 15 minutes at a stretch. It's awesome.


Wow, I never thought that my baby was "high needs". Well, duh! She didn't sleep through the night til she was almost 3 and that is only after night weaning. If the advice and hopeful stories make you feel better and that there is light in the immediate tunnel, then yay. I just take all of that with a grain of salt. but, yes this too shall pass, you just don't get to know when.


Ah yes...well, if you ever eant to see what "high needs" looks like a few years down the pike, look no further than my 4yo. Although, my 7yo has her moments. Thankfully, they very rarely tag-team me.

I have three words for you: Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Not yet, not now. But, you know, when you actually have some time to read again. If you have time to read now, you should be sleeping.

Or blogging. I'm sorry. I'm selfish. ;-)


"Intense" is how I describe my kid too ... kind of the opposite of "happy-go-lucky." Not colicky, never inconsolable -- just needed MAJOR attention at all times to be consoled. He NEVER sat on the floor and played on his own. Never was willing to stay in the carseat for a drive. Etc.

I always hoped that once he was able to do more things for himself, and tell us what he wanted, he'd get easier, and that has absolutely turned out to be true. Not easy, but easier.

The only thing that drives me crazy is when people assume that he is the way he is because we haven't been strict enough with him. (In the case of grandparents, they were disabused of this notion by being left alone with him.)

Courage, and strength! Sophia clearly has the right mom.

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