Developing confidence as a parent
There is so much new stuff to learn when you are preparing for or have become a parent. It is okay not to know and it is okay to ask for help. Learning a lot of new stuff alongside getting to know a new person can be a lot to ask for anyone and on top of that our baby is also getting to know a lot of new stuff and getting to know us… so it’s not surprising that for all of us there will be times when things can feel like they are too much.
It is okay and ordinary to have times when you might be struggling – this is very common. If you notice that you are feeling full up/ stressed / overwhelmed take a step back and have some time out. If someone is around to watch your baby for you then ask them to do this, otherwise place your baby somewhere safe and step away. You are not abandoning your baby – you are taking the difficult emotion away from your baby so that you can have space to calm. This can be an upsetting experience for both you and your baby – you may want to seek some support.
- Support for care givers with crying and sleepless babies: The Cry-Sis Helpline 0800 448 0737 Lines open 7 days a week 9am-10pm
- Family Lives 24 Hour helpline, website, message boards, email service, live chat and parenting/relationship support groups: Telephone 0808 800 2222 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Website https://www.familylives.org.uk/
- Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. Contact Us | Samaritans 24 Hour Helpline: 116 123
The following webpages have some really helpful information about coping with a crying baby. It is very important to remember to never shake or roughly handle a baby – Step away instead.
- ICON Home – ICON Cope ICON provides information about infant crying and how to cope
- BASIS – Baby Sleep Information Source (basisonline.org.uk)
- National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome – PURPLE Crying (dontshake.org)
When you go back to your baby it can be helpful to reassure your baby and acknowledge that things got tricky. Your baby may not understand the words, but they will take a lot of meaning from your tone of voice, face, and movements. Saying this out loud can also help us as parents feel calmer. Taking a few moments to reconnect with your baby can help you both feel better – maybe changing what you were doing before and doing something you know your baby usually finds fun – check in with your baby’s state first, they may not be ready to move on at the same pace as you.