Parenting

Basic Baby Care – Dealing with Anger and Frustration

This is the seventh and final post in my Basic Baby Care series. To read why I wrote this series, click here. The other six posts have been on changing diapers, how to hold a baby, clipping a baby’s nails, helping your baby fall asleep, bottle feeding, and how to give a baby a bath.

Dealing with anger and frustration

I saved the worse for last. For some reason that you will be unable to explain at a later time, you will get really mad. You’re not going to be mad at the baby, but you’ll be mad at the situation. Being deprived of sleep for a long period of time can wreak havoc on anybody. And so there will come a time when you are tired and in the middle of something and everything will go wrong. Maybe you grabbed that one diaper that has a rip in it, or the baby poops all over everything and you don’t have a change of clothes. Maybe you ran out of something. For some reason the baby just won’t go to sleep. The baby keeps crying and won’t stop and you can’t figure out how to help them. These are all things that have happened to me and will happen to you. Let me repeat that, “they will happen to you.” You will have no control over the situation and you will be angry about it.

The best advice I can give you to when you are feeling that high level of frustration, is to step back and take a breath. Obviously, if you are out in public, you won’t be able to leave the situation and so you’ll have to deal with it the best way you can. Try to be calm. If you are all alone in your house, put the baby back in the crib and take a couple of minutes to yourself. The baby will continue to scream in the crib, but you’ll have a better chance of helping the baby if you give yourself a couple of cooling off minutes.

The reason that I decided to include this in the Basic Baby Care series is because of the growing number of Shaken Baby Syndrome cases. In many instances of this syndrome, the baby was crying and the parent could not find a way to stop them and so they shook the baby in frustration. There is never an excuse for child abuse. Don’t let your emotions in any situation cause you to reach that point.

Remember in all your joys and frustrations with the little one, that it is only a short moment of your life. Those frustrating moments are a tiny part of the timeline in your life story together and they will pass. Those joyous moments will pass too, so cherish them.

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10 comments

  1. Appreciate you addressing this important topic, Jason. You are exactly correct in pointing out that the frustration with not being able to soothe a crying baby is the number one trigger for shaken baby syndrome. And your advice about stepping away to compose yourself when you are growing frustrated and angry with the situation is right on. Handling a crying baby while you are frustrated and angry is dangerous. Thanks again, Jason!

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  2. Thankyou so much for writing this part in your blog. I haven’t read the other parts but I saw this on Facebook and it touched my heart because I lost my daughter Sophia on November 19th after she fought 5days to live. Sophia was with her father on November 15th for a short 2 hour visit, he was starting to come around (so I thought) and wanted to spend time with her, this day was only the 2nd time he was ever alone with her when it was just him n her. He claimed she was crying and he couldn’t get her to stop but the thing is, she wasn’t a baby that cried a lot and wasn’t extra “needy” if she was ever fussy all she needed was to be put on your chest to feel the heartbeat and she would settle down. Instead he shook her, squeezed her n caused her ribs to fracture and she also had 4 bruises on her head. He is currently in Westmoreland county jail and trial is set for April 8. Losing my baby at 9 weeks is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through and I’m using this loss to bring attention to parents out there to raise awareness so maybe this can stop being so common. My heart is broken and always will be but I must press on and be the voice for Sophia she didn’t get to have. So thank you again!
    Samantha

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  3. Thanks for this post!!! My wife, Momma Bird, is really good at not getting frustrated with our crying newborn.

    I asked her how she did it, and she said that she hears the crying as communication that she doesn’t understand yet.

    On the other hand, as a guy, I think I hear crying as a baby asking for help that I can’t provide.

    When I adopted Momma Bird’s perspective, I discovered a greater ability to be patient with our crying newborn. And to be honest, I grew much more patient with my wife’s complaints, too. *wink*

    Great blog, thank you!!

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    1. Yes, many times we see something that we believe to be a problem and want to fix it right away. Sometimes handling an issue over time is best. Hurrying an infant rarely works. There is a book that we bought for my daughter about being a big sister. In that book it says, “Babies cry to tell us something.” I try to remember that when I hear my own cry.

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