Terrible Twos with a High Needs Child 

Parenting for me this past year and a half has been an even split of the following thoughts:

“Oh my god will you please stop crying and play with your toys for five minutes?!”



“OMG you’re so cute. Come here. Let me squeeze you and see what comes out.”


Rue was very high needs as a baby. It wasn’t until she started walking and taking an interest in her toys that we got any relief from her constant need to be held. And once she learned baby sign language, her ability to communicate replaced some of the incessant crying. Which was awesome!

Now we’ve just entered this “Terrible Twos” phase and she’s almost done a complete 360. She constantly wants to be held, wants nothing to do with Daddy, and cries instead of communicating. It’s absolutely bizarre. And I want it to stop.


The first 15 months of Rue’s life, I often had to work at enjoying her company because she was just so needy. I resisted the urge to classify her as “high needs” those first 11 months because I know all kids are needy. 

Then I read Dr. Sear’s article about the 12 characteristics of a high needs baby, and realized Rue had 11 out of the 12 characteristics (all except hyperactive). Now that’s she’s walking, I would say she definitely has all 12.

I still have a hard time getting stuff done without a crying toddler hanging on to my legs begging to be held, but all in all, we haven’t had to baby wear in the house very much at all for the past 5 months. Now all of a sudden, she’s not giving me any other choice.

I know we all have our struggles and parenting is hard no matter what “type” of child you have, but for today, I’m going to vent just because I need to.


4:30 am: Wake up. Make coffee holding crying toddler. Drink coffee while nursing toddler.

6:00 am: Try to get toddler to watch a show while I make breakfast. Unsuccessful. Set toddler on counter to “help” cook.

7:00 am: Arts & crafts, puzzles, books, Freeze Dance on repeat.

9:00 am: Try to shower alone. Toddler cries to get in. Toddler cries more because she doesn’t want to be in the shower. Hold toddler while showering. Dress kicking/screaming toddler. Try to dress self while crying toddler follows you around the house asking to be held. Put on robe and hold toddler.

10:00 am: Time for the Ergo. I guess I’ll do the dishes now that she’s asleep on my back.


This is just one example of life with a high needs child. Not all babies are “good babies.”

Some toddlers still wake up every hour throughout the night and only sleep with a boob in their mouth. Some kids still cry every time they’re in the car.

I know now that it’s nothing we did as parents to “create” this kind of behavior. Our daughter was just born this way.

At the end of the day, I wouldn’t change it for the world because she is a very happy baby. Once her needs are met.

For what it’s worth, I do appreciate that. I think it’s going to serve her well growing up.

But for right now, it’s annoying AF.

Having a high needs child can really suck. It’s exhausting. It’s physically, emotionally, and spiritually demanding, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

Add to that the “Terrible Twos” tantrums and OMG. Talk about a challenge!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my child unconditionally. I adore so much about her.

But every day is a struggle to just accept that this is just the way things are for now. I know this phase isn’t going to last forever but everyone has a reason to complain once in a while.

Today is my reason.

And I’ve been told the “Threenager” phase is much worse! Heaven help me.

Like my cousin Pam said, “They make ’em cute for a reason!”