Coping with Frustration
Sometimes crying can continue even after you attempt soothing efforts. If the crying persists, remember that you are not a bad or ineffective parent or caregiver. Here are some simple ways to prevent frustration from building and prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome:
You will get frustrated, so plan ahead.
It can be hard to cope with your baby’s crying at the time. Creating a plan of action and thinking about ways to cope ahead of time helps you deal with a stressful situation. You can write out a plan for when you may start to feel frustrated with your baby’s crying. This may include your baby’s favorite soothing techniques, friends of family to call for help, and tips to help you deal with stress. Be sure to keep it on your refrigerator or somewhere handy for easy access.
Take a break.
After attempting to soothe, you can place the baby in the crib and let him or her cry it out. Be sure to check on the baby every 5-10 minutes to be sure that he or she is safe. No baby has ever died from crying too much, however many babies have been injured or killed by shaking. Be sure to recognize when your frustration is escalating and when you need a break.
It is okay to ask for help.
Call a trusted friend, relative, or neighbor and ask them to watch the baby or just talk. Consider discussing this with your pediatrician, friend, relative, or neighbor beforehand and ask them to be your point of contact in a stressful situation. This will allow you to feel comfortable calling them when you need to.
Being a parent is a full-time job and can be stressful.
Remember to take time for yourself and do things you enjoy. It is critical that you take care of yourself so that you can be prepared to care for your baby. Rest when the baby naps, eat a healthy diet, and create a routine to cope with the demands of a new baby. Be sure to continue to do things that are for you and that you enjoy. Try to find time to rest, exercise, read or just enjoy being outdoors.
It is okay to have feelings of frustration, but critical that you are able to recognize this and do something about it.
Think about times when you have been frustrated in the past and how you dealt with the frustration. It is a good idea to think about ways you can deal with your stress when writing out your plan of action.