Don't Let Your Needy Baby Give You a Nervous Breakdown

mom holding sleeping baby
Donnie Ray Jones/Flickr

Babies are needy, so needy that they actually cry when they need something, which makes people get them what they need. Must be nice, babies. Of course, it's us adults who forget the simple fact that babies need stuff, a lot of stuff, and that stuff has to come from us. And I don't mean toys and bouncy seats. I mean love. Attention. Care. Why do we complain when baby won't sleep through the night? Why moan and sigh when they cry because they want to be held? Well because it makes us stressed. But it doesn't have to!


When you signed up to have a baby, you didn't think you could sit back, sip whiskey, and light a smoke while baby sleeps all day long and then POUF! that baby magically grows up to fetch you a refill and some matches, did you? Of course not. Nobody has thought that way since the early '70s.

One of our many jobs as mom or dad is delivery person. But why then all this frustration about parenting? We all have it. All of us. Maybe it's because we live in a society where there seems to be a quick fix for everything. A pill for what hurts. A phone that doubles as a camera and has apps for just about anything you need.

Babies are needy. It's as simple as that. And we should be patient ... which can be extremely complicated. So the best way to deal is with humor or by smiling. Yes, babies are needy, but they are really cute and funny. And parents can be, too.

When baby wakes up in the middle of the night needing to eat ... instead of dreaming of soundproof rooms or inventing an auto-flow breastmilk system to feed baby so no one wakes up, remember that these moments go fast. Enjoy them. Even though you are tired. Even though you have a meeting at 9 a.m., this moment is more important and more life-changing. Feed baby with love. Then just have an extra cup of coffee in the morning.

When baby just needs to be held all the time and soothed ... instead of putting baby in the pack and play and then get annoyed when baby gets fussy or let baby cry it out, just hold baby. Prioritize. Is anything really more important than taking care of your baby? Does baby really care that laundry isn't put away? Hold baby. Enjoy baby. Babies are so cute. And they grow up fast and soon will be asking for the keys to your car and then you will miss them when they leave.

When babies has another poopie diaper after you just changed one ... don't get mad at baby! Don't even eye-roll at baby. She's watching you -- you don't want her to grow up and eye-roll at you, do you? Poop is good. And even if we could teach the little ones to change their own diaper, you know that will end up being even more of a mess. So change it ... baby will be so happy when you do, which should make you happy, too.

Parenthood isn't an easy gig. It takes so much patience and a whole lot of love. Which we all have inside us ... even if we have to dig around to find it. Kids need us -- they are needy, and it's worth it all. And if you can't handle it, as writer Darcia Narvaez says in Psychology Today, instead of having kids or even a dog, get a pet fish.

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