Coping with a Crying Baby
Advocates emphasize that feeling unable to cope with a crying child is not a sign of bad parenting but rather an indication that the caregiver needs relief. Here's what doctors suggest for anyone who feels overwhelmed by an inconsolable baby.
- STOP Put the baby in a safe place, such as a crib or a playpen, and let her be. There is nothing unsafe or abusive about allowing a baby to cry for five or ten minutes.
- TAKE A BREATHER Walk into another room where the crying isn't quite so loud. Sit down for a moment,and take ten slow, deep breaths.
- GET RELIEF Check that the baby's physical needs have been met (her diaper is dry, she's not hungry, her temperature is comfortable). If you cannot calm the child, ask a friend or a relative to come help you.
- The Shaken Baby Alliance, www.shakenbaby.com
- National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, www.dontshake.com
- Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Plus, www.sbsplus.com
- Skipper Initiative, www.skippervigil.com