High-Demand Babies and Children: 10 Tips for Parents

Do you have a very demanding and absorbent child? Today, we'll offer some recommendations for parents of high-demand babies and children. Stick around!
High-Demand Babies and Children: 10 Tips for Parents
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

When we get the news that we’re going to be parents, we ask ourselves a thousand questions. For example, we wonder whether our little one will be calm or not, and whether their personality will be more like that of their mother or father. But we mustn’t forget that every child’s different and some require more care and attention than others. For this reason, we’re going to look at some recommendations for parents of high-demand babies and children.

Being a high-demand baby or child isn’t an illness; they simply have different characteristics from other children, since their brain develops faster and, therefore, they need more sensory and emotional stimuli, etc. For this reason, we must provide these little ones with what they demand from us so that their brain development takes place adequately.

Do you want to know what parents of high-demand babies or children can do to help them? Here are some tips for you to follow. Don’t miss out and keep reading!

What are high-demand babies and children like?

Dr. William Sears was the first to use the term “high-demand baby or toddler” when he realized that his little daughter was totally different from the rest of her siblings, even in her behavior. Because of this, the parenting methods he’d used with the rest of his children didn’t work with his little girl.

A mother and father lying on the couch reading a book with their toddler daughter.

High-demand babies have characteristics that set them apart from other children. Let’s look at some of them below:

  • They’re never satisfied. They need your full attention, physical contact, and constant holding. No matter how much attention, affection, and love you give them, they’re never completely satisfied.
  • They’re restless children. Their minds are always on the go and they’re ready for anything. They can’t sit still in cars or in carriers because, although they like to be in physical contact with their primary caregivers, they also like to feel free.
  • Unpredictable. They often do things we don’t expect them to do.
  • They constantly seek attention. Once you’ve given them what they need, they immediately need you to fill another need.
  • They wake up a lot at night. They wake up many times during the night and, in addition, it’s very difficult for them to take naps; when they do, they’re very brief.
  • They’re afraid of separation. If they see their parents moving away from them, they panic, because their parents are the ones who respond to their demands and give them the care they need.
  • If they’re nursing babies, they seek the breast often. They do this not only for nourishment, but also for reassurance. And, if they drink milk from a bottle, when they finish, they need a pacifier to calm down.
  • They’re intense. They’re intense in everything they do. When they eat, they do it voraciously; if they cry, they do it loudly and non-stop; they protest with a lot of energy and make constant requests.

Recommendations for parents of high-demand infants and toddlers

The parents of these children usually go to therapy to look for answers as to why these behaviors occur and for guidance as to what they should or shouldn’t do. We must remember that this isn’t a disease, but rather part of a child’s nature, and if, as parents, you follow a series of recommendations, the intensity of these reactions will decrease. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do.

1. Don’t make comparisons with other children or siblings

Each person is unique and different, and this is what makes them special. If you compare your little ones, you’ll be damaging their self-esteem.

2. Give them the time they need and tend to their demands

This will calm them down and provide them with security.

3. Don’t try to change their character

If you try to change their character, you’ll end up exhausting them; that way of behaving’s related to the way they are. Just try to maintain an affectionate and good relationship with your child.

4. Never use violence

If you use hitting or hurtful words, you’ll be reinforcing their negative side and they’ll become more rebellious.

5. Always reinforce their positive behavior

Show them that they’ve done very well with positive acts or phrases .

6. Don’t give them everything they want.

Children are very smart and will use this to manipulate you later.

7. Talk a lot with your child

Have conversations with your child and let them express their emotions and how they feel.

A father laying on his back with his baby boy on his chest as they smile at one another.

8. When faced with a tantrum, act lovingly and calmly

Always respond to a tantrum firmly, but in a calm and loving way.

9. Seek child therapy if you see that you can’t

If you see that the situation is getting out of hand and you can’t control it, seek professional help.

10 Ask for help if you feel exhausted

If you feel mentally tired, ask for help from your partner or a family member to help you release tension. We’re all human and, if we’re under a lot of stress, we can lose our cool. So, before it happens, it’s better to ask for help.

Regarding the recommendations for parents of high-demand babies and children…

If you’ve identified these characteristics in your child, then these recommendations for parents of high-demand babies and children will help you to improve the situation a lot.

It’s important to be clear that we’re not talking about a disease or illness, but a special character. And, of course, if you see that you can’t control the situation or you feel overwhelmed by it, seek professional help.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • San Martín, M., & Heras, C. (2014). Crianza de alta demanda:Consejos útiles para la etapa infantil. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.