It will passMy daughter is now a kind and happy, if stubborn and strong-willed, 2-year-old, and I love her more than I could ever have believed possible in those dark days of babyhood.
In our case, she was 11 months old when she suddenly changed and stopped crying all the time. For other parents it can be sooner or later and may be a much more gradual process. An hour can seem like an eternity if you're living with a demanding baby, so the thought of coping for months on end can be daunting, but it does get better.
There are rewardsPsychologist Dr Elizabeth Meins says, 'There have been some fascinating studies which have suggested that the temperament of some infants makes them more prone to outside influences, such as the quality of parenting. Research on monkeys shows that an infant with a difficult character who has a very sensitive mother doesn't just go on to have okay outcomes but actually becomes the leader of the pack. A human study in the Netherlands seems to support this theory.'
This doesn't mean you have to be perfect. Screaming at your baby to shut up when she's been crying all day or putting her down and walking away occasionally because you've reached the end of your tether isn't insensitive. In fact, the more affected you are by your baby's behaviour, the more sensitive you probably are. What's more, it's quite possible that the very thing making your baby so difficult will lead her to become a sociable and caring adult.
Dr William Sears, the paediatrician who coined the term 'high need' to describe his fourth child, suggests that these babies grow up to be resourceful, opinionated, determined and passionate.
It's too early to know if my daughter will do so, but what I do know is that I'd go through it all again if that's what it takes to have the child I have now. And as I'm pregnant again, I really don't say that lightly!