Is your baby unhappy?

I often hear people complain about their babies, especially infants that they just never seem happy, that they’re always dissatisfied. It usually goes a little something like this:

My baby just doesn’t seem to get full when I feed her. I can feed her and after five minutes she wants to feed again. She’s always so dissatisfied.

Or

My baby wants to be held all the time. He’s just never satisfied unless he’s in my arms. I can never put him down even for five minutes.

Let’s stop here and talk about something that I’ve mentioned before.
You can either choose to roll with it or fight it.

Think about it logically. If you love doing something and have to stop. Will you then complain because you were miserable or will you complain because you had to stop doing something you love doing?

Now let’s go back to the dissatisfied baby.

Could it be that your baby is not in fact dissatisfied with what’s going on but rather dissatisfied he/she had to stop doing whatever she was doing.

Is the seemingly always hungry child complaining because she’s dissatisfied with the breast (not getting enough milk) or is she dissatisfied that she had to stop doing something she enjoyed doing and now she’s going back for more, not because she wasn’t satisfied but because she loves the feeding, the closeness to mommy etc.

Same goes for the baby who refuses to be put down. Maybe he loves being carried, is SATISFIED, and wants it to continue.

Junior was a most content infant. Everyone would always comment on how content he was. Wait a minute? A “high needs baby” content?! Are you sure?
Yes. I’m positive. And I think a lot of it had to do with our approach. I’m not saying we found the magic “baby whisper” tactics that work on every child every time. I’m just saying what worked for us.

Junior was happiest when he had a “self serve buffet” instead of a schedules feeding time. He ate when he wanted, for however long he wanted. Same with naps. He took naps or slept when he was tired which very quickly developed into a pattern that suited him instead of us trying to force him on to a sleep schedule or sleep train him. (Seriously?! Train a baby to sleep?!) Junior loved being carried and being close. There was almost never a time he wasn’t either worn in a wrap or resting on the cheat if either me or my husband. Instead of trying to fight it, we just rolled with it, we let HIM guide us.

Crazy you say? Not so crazy. It’s the basis of my parenting. Let the child lead and help the child to help himself. Instead of enforcing strict rules we followed his lead, trusted in him to figure out when he was tired and not and it worked. Sleep has been one of the least fought about issues in our house. Constantly carrying him in the wrap also meant he was always where we were and he had to figure out how to relax in different environments. Instead of putting him head first (literally and figuratively) into a new situation he was wrapped up , facing me, in a secure and comfortable environment and could “mind his own business” when he wanted to or peek and take a look at the world from a safe distance. When things got too much, people got too much he could just turn his head, rest it on my chest and fall back asleep all wrapped up.

He was happy
And we were happy.
We were happy
Because he was happy.

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