This term is the best term to sum up my Sidekick. She’s attached to me 24/7 nearly. We’re even back to having to have her sit on my knee whilst I pee. I’m sorry if that’s too much information for you, but that’s my life at the moment.
So a Velcro baby, what do I mean. It’s pretty straight forward, it’s a baby, child, that doesn’t like being put down in any sense. They crave and need for their own happiness constant contact.
Sidekick is my first child so I had no clue what motherhood would be like but I’d had friends with babies, family members etc. I’d talked to them, saw them with their babies and so in my head I had a vague idea that whilst being a parent would obviously be hard I would in time be able to function as a mother. I’d be able to put baby down whilst it napped, do some house jobs, then when baby awoke I’d be able to play, take it out, you know things like that.
Yeah that’s not the case with a Velcro baby
When Sidekick first came home, it was hell. Seriously, she screamed all the time, she needed to be held constantly and to get her to sleep was an active workout. I’d had a traumatic labour but the idea of a recovery period or what is now been called ‘babymoon’ was out of the window. Even with support of Hubby and my mum Sidekick was not happy
I managed to find time to read about the fourth trimester and that provided answers on a lot of things. So okay, it would pass in time, things would begin to get a bit easier at 6 weeks…8 weeks….12 weeks….
The magical week markers came and went and Sidekick still only slept when on me or Hubby. I had no baby weight to loose (don’t flame me, it was a whole issue), so I lost more weight. On some days my mum and I were clocking up 9 miles a day to get Sidekick to nap.
Now at first people leave you to it but when you reach 3 months it’s open season on advice, wanted or not. So at this stage people begin to weigh in with the whole bad habits, sleep associations, yadda yadda yadda.
At the beginning, on advice of the health visitor I tried the self-settle and that just resulted in a really pissed off, extra tired baby.
So I read more, came across High Demand Baby, which I’ve rattled on about before and then the concept of Velcro baby.
This is Sidekick.
So what does that mean. Well we’re at six months now and things have improved. I’m not walking as much, but that’s because she now cries in her pram. Rocking her to sleep is not as energetic as it once was, and now takes less than an hour (yeay!).
She will now sit and play with her toys for 10 minutes as long as I’m in touching distance.
Sleep is still a ongoing battle, naps are short and on me, which I accept, after all to sit down for 30 to 40 minutes after 20+minutes of jigging, rocking is welcome. Night time is a hit and miss affair, sometimes she will go in her crib for a couple of hours, most nights she’s in our bed.
Yes I have become a reluctant co-sleeper. I was terrified of co-sleeping, still am but its the only way I can get some sleep. Hubby goes into the other room for a few hours then comes back so I can have a more relaxed sleep. It’s different and hard but it’s working for us.
Having a high needs Velcro baby is challenging and lonely. I haven’t been able to make mum friends due to not knowing when I will be able to go out. When I have met other mums they have all told me how great their little one is at sleeping, how they’ve been out and about with the since they were born. I can’t help it but it does make me feel a little sad. I feel a failure.
But then I look at my beautiful daughter. I see her smiling and playing. I watch as she is growing and trying to master new skills day after day. She is a happy baby. Yes she is intense but when she looks at me and smiles I know that I am doing what she needs me to do.
Babies grow up so quickly, these first years are so important to them in terms of setting up strong bonds, creating attachments. Who cares that for a while I’m going to bed at 7pm just so I can throughout the night get 4 maybe 6 hours of broken sleep. Who cares that I haven’t switched on the TV since she was born, have I really missed anything important.?
So if you by some unknown reason have found your way to this site and are worrying that you are doing it all wrong by your baby because you rock them or feed them to sleep, because they will only sleep on you/by you. That you have been told that you are spoiling them. You aren’t, there is no such thing as being spoiled by love. The world is a horrible place at times, they will learn that on their own, so why not create a bond now that will let them know that you are their safety, that when the world is horrible, they can come home to you and feel your love.
You are doing fine.
We are doing fine.