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.