A baby that is attached to their mother at all times, as if by Velcro. Often results in insanity for the mother. The only treatment is wine and bedtime.
As most of my readers know, I have four children. All of them have been Velcro babies at some point; my third was by far the most Velcro-ish. I’m a huge advocate of baby wearing, whether by sling, wrap, carrier…anything to get your hands free! Some babies only prefer one type of carrier or one position (i.e. on the front, on the back, on the side), but I believe almost all babies love being worn (I say “almost” because there are some who actually only want to be held, and probably others who don’t want to be held at all!).
Now, most babies go through stages of wanting to be held a lot; maybe they’re sick or teething, going through a normal phase of separation anxiety. However, there is a subset of the population that are born what Dr. Sears has dubbed “high needs“.
If this list describes one of your children, or someone else in your life, I highly suggest you check out some of the links I’ve provided! High needs isn’t a disorder or a disease, it’s merely a personality type. You can’t discipline it out of your kid, but it helps to understand it and to know you’re not alone! It’s definitely difficult to have children with such big emotions from day one, but I’m here to tell you that it’s worth it! My oldest wasn’t an “easy” baby by any stretch of the imagination, but now, at 11, she’s one of the sweetest, smartest, most empathetic, funniest people I know!
Here’s something that was posted in a group I’m a member of on Facebook that really resonated with me:
To my darling little Velcro baby,
From the moment I first held you in my arms, you decided that was your favourite place to be.
Whenever you were there, snuggled close to me – Mummy – you were content and peaceful.
If I put you down for a minute or two, you cried an abandoned cry that no one could ignore.
Such was your anguish, I had no choice but to pick you up again and put you back where you needed to be: close to me.
So many well-meaning people told me that, by holding you close all the time, I was building a rod for my own back; that I was spoiling you.
But how can you spoil a baby?
I just had to get used to what you wanted and needed. You needed to be stuck to me like velcro.
As you were my first -born, you came into a busy, bustling world. You simply had to fit in and come along for the ride.
And you were quite happy to – as long as you were in my arms. At ALL times. Like a little spider monkey, with tiny, clinging arms, always reaching for mummy.
Believe me, it was lovely to have you there, permanently attached. But it wasn’t always easy.
I’m sorry if there were times when I got frustrated or worn out and cross. But it’s REALLY hard to stack a dishwasher or cook fish fingers or put the washing on the line with a baby wrapped round you all the time. It’s nigh on impossible to butter toast.
I’m so sorry for all the times you cried when I simply had to put you down. The times when I showered and you sobbed in your baby chair. The times when I got flustered and had to put you on your playmat just to brush my hair.
I’m sorry for all those times when I felt envy (and a tinge of failure) when we met with other mums whose babies lay happily in their buggies, cooing contentedly.
Now you’re all grown up and you have taken confident strides into the big wide world on your own, I miss those Velcro days.
You’ve found your own feet and even though my hands are free, they feel empty sometimes, too.
There are still magical moments where you come back to me and hold me tight; when I know that Velcro bond we formed will never be broken; that those Velcro days tied us together forever.
Please know that even when you’re big and grown and independent, my arms will always be here for you.
Thank you for needing me so much. I’m sorry I didn’t always appreciate it, but I’m so glad we stuck together. You were worth it. You will always be worth it.
I love you.
(If anyone happens to know the author, please let me know so that I can get into contact with her and give credit where it’s due!)
If you would like more information on caring for a high needs baby or child, or would like to be involved in a support group for parents of high needs children, check out one of the best resources out there, The Fussy Baby Site.