Calming Tactic: Get Some Support
Find at least half an hour a day that's yours alone. Enlist your spouse, the grandparents, your siblings, trusted friends, or a sitter to help with the baby -- although it's a good idea to warn them of what to expect so they won't overreact. Pennington-Cross ceded the nighttime routine to her husband. "He would wear Jesse in a carrier, and I would get an hour to 90 minutes each night to read the news or hang out on the computer and play video games," she says. Another idea: connect with a moms group, in person or online, so you don't feel isolated (try the discussion forums at americanbaby.com or mamasource.com). "It's easy to convince yourself that you're the only one, that there's something wrong with you, and that people think you're a bad parent because you can't get your baby to stop crying," says Laura Jana, MD, coauthor of Heading Home with Your Newborn (American Academy of Pediatrics). "Getting support lets you maintain your sanity and gives you some distance and a little perspective."