We’ve all heard terrible stories about young children who have died as a result of child abuse. While many of these innocent victims are violently abused by an adult who has no respect for their little lives, there are many who had loving parents who just “snapped” when the crying got to be too much. It doesn’t matter if it’s an infant, a toddler or an older child – crying children have a way of pushing parents over the edge sometimes.
I understand this may seem to be a pretty “heavy” blog post for us, but I think it’s important to talk about because there are so many good, loving parents who lose control and spend a lifetime regretting it. Contrary to what many of us thought when we were expecting our first child, having babies isn’t easy. There’s a lot more to it then picking out Kid’s fancy clothes, cute bedding and fun toys. Changing diapers, feeding every couple of hours, handling colic, keeping fevers under control, etc. are all things that many of us didn’t think about when we were pregnant. Below are a few tips for dealing with a crying child when you think you’re about to “lose it.”
1. Put the Baby Down Gently. There are so many parents out there who have babies that struggle with colic as infants. The endless hours of crying can seem unbearable when you’re in the middle of it. Maybe you don’t have a baby with colic but have a child who wants to be held constantly or cries for another reason. When you start to get frustrated, it’s time to go and lay the baby/child down in his crib and walk away for a while. Putting the baby down and distancing yourself from him for a while can help you regain control of your thoughts and calm down. Once you have calmed down, then go back and handle the baby. Don’t go back in until you are completely calm and all frustration is gone.
2. Call a Friend. Another thing that can help tremendously when you’re in the middle of a huge crying fit is to call a friend or family member. Put the baby somewhere safe (crib, swing, play pen, etc.) and go in the other room and call your friend. There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling a close friend and saying, “I just needed to talk to someone for a few minutes.” Often times, talking to a friend will get your mind off of the screaming child in the other room. Do make sure you check on the little one from time to time to ensure she is still okay though.
3. Go Outside for a Few Minutes. Sometimes we just have to get away from the crying for a few minutes. To do this, I put my little one down in his crib and go outside. Usually I just sit on the front porch for about 5 minutes before coming back inside. Most of the time that is all the time I need to get control of my thoughts again. It’s amazing how good a few minutes of quiet can feel when you’ve been listening to a little one cry for an hour or more.
There are many different ways for handling the stress of a crying baby and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it’s important for you to find what works for you. As long as your little one is safe and isn’t crying because something is wrong (hungry, hurting, etc.) then it’s best to put the little one down and go do something for a bit to take your mind off of the crying. Putting the baby down will ensure that he stays safe and you don’t lose control and shake him.
Another thing I do is put my son in his bassinet (in my room) and take a quick shower. The master bath is right there with the bassinet right outside the door. This allows me to still hear my son, but the hot shower water calms and relaxes me. Just make sure you find something that works for you and don’t ever let yourself reach your breaking point. You love your child too much for that.