Tips to Deal with Frustration and Anger

Author: Marilyn Barr, Founder/Former Executive Director, NCSBS

You, like millions of other parents, have likely found yourself in a situation where you have become very frustrated, even angry with your babies crying. It is important to know that this is completely normal. Listening to a crying child can be very frustrating, especially, after you have tried everything you can think of to calm and sooth the crying infant. All babies cry, especially, while going through the Period of PURPLE Crying. It is important to recognize this and deal with your anger and frustration when caring for a crying child appropriately.

When caring for a crying baby begins frustrating or angering you, it is time to take a break. The best thing you can do for your baby is to get away from the crying for awhile and calm down. This does not mean you are a bad mother or father. It only means you are normal. Ask your spouse, partner, a relative or friend if they could help with the baby for awhile. If none of these options are available set your baby in a safe place and walk away. It is important to take some time to allow yourself to calm down before returning to care for your baby.

Below is a list of things you can do to help you relax and get rid of your frustration:

Practical and Sometimes Funny Ideas for Crying

National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

I put my baby in the back seat of the car
"I put my baby in the back seat of the car in her car seat and drive around with the radio on. She is crying most the time but once in awhile she actually does stop.”

I bought a calendar with big squares to write on each day
"I bought a calendar with big squares to write on each day. I put smiley faces on the good days and sad faces on the hard days. Then I realized my baby wasn’t good all day or hard all day, so I started putting three faces in each square to represent my day. When I counted up the faces at the end of the week I was surprised to realize that I actually had many more smiley faces than sad faces. Maybe, my baby really doesn’t cry all the time even if it seems like it some days.”

Sometimes at night when my baby would cry for hours
“Sometimes at night when my baby would cry for hours at a time I would turn on the PURPLE Crying DVD and watch it…again. I had seen it several times, but it really helped to remind me that what I was going through was normal and would come to an end.”

When my baby began going through the Period of PURPLE Crying
“When my baby began going through the Period of PURPLE Crying at about two weeks, I drew a picture of a crying baby on a calendar. Each day that passed I put an X on the calendar to remind me how much longer until this crying period was over. Just like the program said, my baby’s crying did eventually come to end around his four month birthday. It is so much easier to get through something if there is an end in sight.”

One night when my wife had been up with the baby for hours
“One night when my wife had been up with the baby for hours she brought her into me and announced, Here, she yours! I am going for a walk. I was glad that she did that because she really looked frazzled.”

Please Remember
The most important part about all these stories is that all people, of all backgrounds, educational levels, financial status, race and culture go through these things with their baby. Even pediatricians have shared that they got frustrated with their own baby’s crying. The most important thing to remember when you get angry is take a deep breath, put your baby in a safe place and walk away. But never have a baby in your arms when you feel angry or resentful. It is OK. It will get better.