HIgh Needs Baby and Lack of Sleep!

Ok this was going to be one long post but I am going to break it up into a few short posts over the next few days.  I hope to elaborate on some of these topics, but my blogging time is limited right now!!!  So much has happened that we just want to document some of the journey the last few months in hopes that it will bless others!

HIGH NEED BABY:

As I have said before, Mykah is a high-need baby!  Dr. Sears defines 12 characteristics: Intense, Hyperactive, Draining, Feeds Frequently, Demanding, Awakens Frequently, Unsatisfied, Unpredictable, Super Sensitive, Wants to be held ALL the time, Not a self soother, and separation sensitive.  Dr. Sears also shares what a blessing a high need baby can be (with the right parenting attitude).  So when I say Mykah is high need, please don’t hear me criticizing or complaining about my sweet girl.  (whining about sleep deprivation maybe 🙂  In truth, I believe that Andrew and I NEEDED a high need baby.  If Mykah was an “easy” sit in the swing and stare at a mobile baby… we would be tempted to let her do just that WAY too much while we watched a movie, or working on a house project or blogged or whatever.  We needed her to need us so that we were forced to really sacrifice our time and our desires!  Early and deep bonding with Mykah was important to us and God gave us just the character in her that we needed to give us the desire of our heart.  Her high need for us has allowed us to spend A LOT of time bonding with her and learning to sacrifice of ourselves to meet her needs.  It has also pushed me right into the arms of Jesus in a very new way.  (more on that in another post soon)

UPDATE:  Since I started writing this post a few weeks ago, already so much has changed.  Our little girl is growing up so fast.  She is 41/2 months old and developing such a sweet personality.  She has started flirting with strangers where she will smile at them and then bury her head in my chest and then do the whole thing all over again a few times.  We can tell that she has a foundation now of trust in us and she is starting to explore her environment more.  She is a total cuddle bunny and we LOVE that.  She laughs and coos the second dad walks in the door and she hears his voice.  Then she follows him with her precious little eyes all over the house till he gets out of dirty work clothes and scoops her up!  The first 3 months were so freaking hard, but it seems we have turned a corner and I believe that the Attachment Parenting Style (and a lot of Jesus and prayer) has helped us to deeply bond with Mykah and has helped her to adjust to life outside the womb!!! Visit www.AndrewandKellyCouch.com for pictures.

http://www.AskDrSears.com is a GREAT resource for high needs baby info! Like this article on “Why a high needs baby sleeps differently”

SLEEP:

Speaking of sleep, or lack of it.  We knew that the first few weeks would be tough.  But 4 months of no sleep is for sure taking a toll on us.  I wish I had some wisdom to share, but we are still working through sleep issues.  The one thing that did help was to realize that I needed to PARENT her to sleep, especially at nap time during the day.  Sleep during the day begets sleep at night.  At first I was actually trying to keep her awake more during the day thinking she would be tired and sleep at night, WRONG!!!  So now I am getting serious about nap time around here.  We are trying to a 2 hour nap in the am and another in the afternoon.  Kind of disrupts my social calendar (I am finding that I actually need to get out with friends more to avoid post-partum depression etc) but SLEEP is #1 priority right now for the entire Couch family here!  Plus, lately the only way to get to sleep and stay asleep is a loud sound machine (I turn iPhone to airplane mode and use the “white noise” app beach setting), I lay down with her in our bed and nurse her to sleep.  Sometimes I can slip away when she is out, most of the time she grabs for me and I end up napping with her!  Again, GOD knows what I need… I need sleep as much as she does but I so want to do other things!  Right now she is napping in my sling as I stand at the computer rocking her back and forth and type.  We had to go on a 45 minute walk this am to get her to sleep and she wakes up every time I stop moving.  Haha.  Again, I have been saying I want to work out more… God knows what I need!  I just have to constantly remind myself of that.

Here is a book that helped me a lot…  The Baby Sleep Book!

Follow the personal side of the journey at www.WarriorPrincessDiaries.com

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