This weekend was full of incredibles…an incredible church conference, incredible times talking with my husband, some incredibly terrible nap-times and overtired children, incredible levels of fatigue and frustration, incredible worship, and incredible encouragement that we are doing the right things for our children right now.  Wow, that is a lot of incredibles!

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Ever since Selah’s birth 10 months ago, Ryan and I have grown in our appreciation for, and understanding of, what it means to practice attachment parenting.  Selah often seems to be the poster child for attachment parenting!  She is most happy attached to me, sleeping in a wrap or sling, co-sleeping, or breastfeeding. However, her intense personality has often caused me to feel frustrated, embarrassed, and humbled at the fact that I just cannot make her fit into other peoples’ expectations of what a baby should do (sleep in a crib, sleep through the night, play in the nursery, stay with a baby-sitter, etc.)

I have always known somewhere deep within my mother’s heart, that I am doing the right things for Selah, but it can be difficult to feel so alone and different from other mothers and babies.  All of my frustrations seemed to come to the surface this weekend, until I found this incredible article by Dr. Sears.  Apparently, Dr. Sears has had first-hand experience with a “high need baby”, and has several books on the subject.  I can’t wait to read the books!  But, this particular article, entitled 12 Features of a High Need Baby, encouraged me so greatly!

I felt as if I was reading an article written just about Selah, and it opened my eyes to so many of the struggles we have had.  Even better, it encouraged me to know that many other families have experienced a high need baby, and we are not alone!  But, the very best thing about this article, was the very positive ways that Dr. Sears finds to write about and describe this type of baby – characteristics that people may assume are negative, he turns around and describes as positive, unique traits.

This quote particularly stood out to me:

Your baby’s quality of being very selective about who cares for her shows that she has great discernment. High need babies know which situations and which persons they can trust to meet their needs, and they protest if these expectations are not met. 

Selah most definitely has a small circle of trust!  She will easily go to her daddy and grandparents and sometimes one or two friends, but she does not yet trust other people.  Up to this point, I felt that I needed to stretch Selah by allowing people at church to try to hold her, for her to go to a baby-sitter, or spend time in the nursery. Now, I have the confidence to say “no” to certain situations, and show Selah that I respect her feelings in that area.  As I am reading in The Continuum Concept, I really believe that my investment into Selah now, and all of her “in-arms” time, is going to result in a confident, strong, young woman someday.

I would love to paste the entire article from Dr. Sears here – I could write about it all night!  But, if you are at all interested in attachment parenting, check out this website, and especially read the articles about high needs babies.  Thanks, Dr. Sears! 🙂

 

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