Topic Overview

If you want to save this information but don’t think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number.

Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to read about this topic. Use a safe computer such as one at work, a friend’s house, or a library.

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
your baby.

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
    naps.
  • 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
    decreases.

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
    baby.

For more information, see the topics:

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD – Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Chuck Norlin, MD – Pediatrics

Current as ofMay 3, 2017