Caring for a baby can be difficult and frustrating at
times. Most parents have periods when they feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and
extremely frustrated. Help manage your frustration and anger by learning
healthy ways to handle the stress of child care. You can learn techniques to
help you stay in control of your emotions when everyday pressures mount. The
following strategies can help you function in a loving and healthy way with
Prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed
Learn about child development, child health,
and effective and safe behavior management. This information can help you
understand and deal with your baby's behavior and changing needs. Call your
hospital for information about parenting education classes, or look for books in
your local library.
Talk with other parents about the ways they
cope with the demands of child care.
Take short relaxation breaks
when you can. For example, listen to your favorite music, or do
breathing exercises while your baby
Ask for help when you need time for yourself. Ask trusted
friends or family members to take care of your baby, or trade a few hours of
occasional babysitting with a friend who has a child. If you do not have this
kind of support, contact your health professional or local hospital for
community organizations that can help you.
Understand that the
average baby cries from 1 to 5 hours out of every 24 hours during his or her first
few months of life. Sometimes a crying spell can last from 15 minutes to an
hour for no obvious reason. Crying peaks around 6 weeks, then gradually
Recognize the danger signs
Put your baby in a safe place, such as a crib,
and go into another room if you feel that you might lose control and hurt your
baby. Call a friend or family member to come over and relieve you for a while.
You can also call a hotline to discuss your feelings and get immediate help.
For example, call the Childhelp hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).
Get immediate help from a health professional if
you have shaken your baby or if you are concerned that you might harm your
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.