Raising a baby is something that is beautiful for most people, but it is certainly not easy. After all, we are talking about a completely vulnerable and dependent being with multiple needs that we must be able to satisfy, and who at least initially is not able to express them in a specific way, often being the cry of the day. only way to communicate their needs or the existence of discomfort or some kind of deprivation (such as hunger or desire for contact) that they are experiencing.
Each baby has his own way of being, his own temperament: some cry a lot or a little, more curious or fearful, more active and more sleepy. And some of them are particularly demanding, which is why some authors have come to propose the term babies in high demand to designate.
What is a high demand baby?
They are intended for babies in high demand to those boys and girls are characterized by constant and demanding attention, Cry frequently and wake up from sleep more often than usual. This term was coined by William Sears, based on observing the behavior of one of his daughters.
In addition to the above features, many more are in the process of being defined. Among them is the fact that they are generally not able to calm down and have a high level of anxiety about separation from their caregivers, with whom they are absorbing and in need of care. They also usually need continuous physical contact. These babies usually try to nurse often, which also tends to relax them considerably.
They often have some level of sensory hypersensitivity, So that they seem to pick up the stimulation coming from the different senses with more intensity. Also, they are generally awake and attentive children, slightly hyperactive (not in the sense of trouble but in the sense of very vigilant and moved). In addition, in many cases, a high level of curiosity, sociability and creativity can be observed, as well as a strong ability to motivate. And is that one of the characteristics that stand out the most in them is the high level of emphasis and energy in what they do. They can also often appear muscular. To consider a baby in high demand, at least most of these characteristics must be met.
Finally, although it is not a defining thing, the truth is that many of these babies have high cognitive abilities and sometimes some level of precocity, learning earlier and more easily than others. In other words, they are intelligent children whose initial characteristics may (but not necessarily depend on how they are managed) eventually evolve into abilities and skills highly valued in adulthood.
In fact, a high percentage of gifted children they are small babies in great demand or with similar characteristics. Of course, that doesn’t mean the relationship is two-way – not all babies or most babies in high demand will be gifted.
A very important problem
Whatever the characteristics of this type of baby, it is essential to point out one fact. However, we are talking about babies who have common characteristics we do not treat babies who have any pathology per se. Of course, it is possible that the reason a baby is crying is pain caused by some kind of pathology and this causes them to ask for more help.
Be aware of expectations
The high demand for these babies is often seen as an aspect due solely to the child’s way of being. However, whether or not a baby is in high demand often stems from parental opinion or expectations. It should be remembered that each of us has a picture or an expectation of how and when a child should ask us, expectations that should not be realistic.
If for example a baby cries every night at four in the morning, it is not because it is particularly demanding, but we are talking about habitual behavior in all or almost all babies. All babies demand attention, cry, and have complex frustrations and behaviors that we often don’t understand.
In addition, we must keep in mind that in some cases the presence of high demand may be due to the fact that we are not able to understand the needs of our baby. It’s not that we are bad parents, but a possible misunderstanding of how our baby is it is difficult for us to respond with the kind of stimulation and affection the child needs.
Some guidelines for action
As we said, babies in high demand are characterized by the fact that they require continuous care from parents. The high demand for these children can be confusing and sow uncertainty on how to act on many parents. This is why it is worth offering brief guidelines for action.
The first is to keep in mind that the baby is in great demand. it is a vulnerable being who expresses a real need, Being something unintentional on your part and that is not a way of manipulating us or getting anything from us.
While there is controversy as to whether or not they should respond to their contact tracing, the truth is that their response has been shown to tend to spark increasing thinking that the world is one. safer place and that they have more capacity for themselves. esteem and defense of their rights. It is important that the baby feels loved and learns to recognize positive emotions.. Likewise, we too will have to work on our emotions.
On top of that, it’s important to keep in mind that we don’t have to feel guilty about their screaming. Usually, the cause of these will not be something that we have done or stopped doing, but simply a manifestation of some of their feelings or the emergence of a need.
As we said, these kids are emotional and curious, so the stimulation can get a lot of attention from them. But they are also very sensitive to it, so you have to try to monitor the type of stimuli that reaches them. It will be helpful to calm down when there are unexpected stimuli, such as loud noises. Showing a calm demeanor in front of them, and even in the face of their demands for attention, can set them by example and relax them.
One thing that may seem logical but that can go through the minds of many parents and raise doubts is the fact that it is also normal to feel overwhelmed. A very relevant aspect that we have to work on is to take care of ourselves and to do an enjoyable activity from time to time without having to be on top of the child. We are not the worst parents who want to have a quiet time, And there will be times when we may need outside help (eg, grandparents or uncles) in order to reduce stress levels.
Critique of this denomination
The consideration of what a baby in high demand is and the fact that it is categorized has attracted a lot of criticism at the general level. And it is that if it is true that there are children who have this type of temperament, more demanding compared to the others, label- could be seen as a way to pathologize (Although not what the category claims) behavior that is otherwise normal in a creature that depends on parental care for its survival.
Another criticism of this category is the fact that there is no limit between what is and what is not a high demand baby: each of us can consider our child to be hypersensitive, absorbent and ultimately demanding since no clear time or frequency limit is set that is different from what another baby would do. In other words, it is possible to detect whether a child is demanding or not, but not so much to determine where the line would be.