Is Wearing my Child the Cause or the Cure of her High Needs?

On a babywearing blog, I suppose the argument I’m going to make here isn’t that surprising. It’s the cure, not the cause.

Here’s my story: I have a high needs baby. She’s mindblowing. There is only one person she wants to hold her (and, sometimes, touch her): me. At 11 months, it’s been a long and draining year so far. At first I wore her because it was the only way she could be comfortable. She can sit independently and move around quite a bit these days, her reflux is largely resolved, so I don’t have to wear her so often and as such haven’t been (see the injured shoulder saga).

But she’s still very, very anxious with other people and is unwilling to let anyone else care for her. Funnily enough, on the days I wear her all day long (she comes to work with me once a week), she’s as happy as a clam.

Here’s my plan: I’m going to wear her. I’m going to wear her every opportunity I get- not just when she asks for it, not just when she needs it. I’m going to actively hold her as much as she’ll permit. If holding my clingy baby is the cause of her anxiety, then her behaviour won’t change. However, if (as is my theory) responding to her need to be near me and embracing it will help her grow through this stage, we should see some improvement soon.

I’ll report back soon and let you know how it’s going. (Wish me luck!)

Do you have a high-needs child? How do you cope? What’s your strategy for dealing with a child who needs you All. The. Time.? Leave a comment and let us know!

About Steph

Steph is a Mum of three with a passion for babywearing and some excellent skills with knots.
This entry was posted in Babywearing Info, Personal Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Is Wearing my Child the Cause or the Cure of her High Needs?

  1. Esther says:

    Sending you loads of hugs, S!
    It’s a thoughy, isn’t it?!?

    I’m sure people around me have thought that my now 3yo DS was so clingy because I wore him so much. It was never said to my face but still…
    Yet when he started preschool at age 2y10mo, he settled in really, really fast! His teachers were amazed at the speed at which he settled in 🙂

    So maybe after all the wearing (and co-sleeping) he is now fast becoming very independent.


  2. Kerry MS says:

    Hey Steph! My DH and I have the same ‘debate’ – he believes BWing (and responding to the needs of) my high needs son has ‘made’ him worse and we should ‘harden up’ – I believe that if I hadn’t and we hadn’t then things would be much much worse – hard to ever find out though…

    So I will be interested in your trial – remember to listen to and attend to your own needs as much as you can too 🙂 *sparkles* Kerry

  3. Katie says:

    I say go for it! We instictually know what’s best for our babies. So, if wearing your little one is working for both of you, keep doing it! I also have a needy babe who only wants his Mama. My theory is that it’s natural and normal for our babies to need to be so attached to their mothers. We may not see this closeness as much any more because of the lack of breastfeeding and what seems to be a more stand-offish approach with parenting. I believe this “neediness” is essential for a healthy bond between Mother and Child and is absolutely NOT thecause of any problem.

  4. emmadavidson says:

    My husband was a worn baby in the 1970’s (mei tai). He and his three brothers are very well-adjusted, self-confident, normal adults. Hope our kids turn out the same way.

  5. Keelie says:

    I find it so funny this attitude in today’s society that our babies have to learn to cope without us.

    My friend recently told me it was good for my bub to be in childcare because he’s got to learn to cope by himself. I think this argument may work where children have the mental capacity to rationalise the behaviour of others. I’m not sure that applies to my one year old!!!

  6. Kate Miller says:

    My velcro-baby is now nearly two. He is happily at day care now that he has the physical and mental development so he can choose what he wants to eat and which toys to play with. Daycare are awesome – so gentle. Childcare was really a coping mechanism for me (as well as needing to return to paid work) but DS really misses the other kids if we are on holidays. He still picks up the sling and brings it to me if he wants to be carried (and his babies always go in a sling on his back so he can cook and play with cars), we still co-sleep and breastfeed when he wants to. He is VERY secure and with all the travel we are doing the sling is the favoured mode of transport.

    Look after yourself – if your velcro-baby wants to be ON you 24 hrs a day every day you will need some time to look after yourself. You will then have better capacity to cope with what your child needs. Also, there is nothing better after a frustrating time than to go for a walk, enjoy the outdoors with a little chatting person on your back …. Keep up the carrying!!!!! You are doing a fabulous job.

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