Your child can pick it up from you in your posture, facial expression, muscle tension and breathing tempo, and they will react accordingly. Remember, you're the adult even if you feel out of control -- calm yourself to help them.
Step 1: Slow your roll Slow down any way you can -- through self-talking or playing soothing music. Find a mantra -- one word that will signal your dialing back emotionally.
Step 2: Let the baby cry Let your child cry while you allow yourself to take a break and remind yourself you're not terrible for doing it. You're also not alone: every parent has these moments.
Step 3: Speak up Announce your feelings, even frustrations, conversationally to the room, a partner, or even the child. Just hearing yourself out loud will help to work it out.
Step 4: Find a sub Take the opportunity to have a trusted person step in for a little while. Get a nap in or just sit in the quiet, go shopping, or do anything else except fret.
Step 5: Visualize a calming place Visualize in detail a place you'd love to be. The sounds of surf, or the shade of a tree are calming thoughts and can help to relax.
TIP: Some research has shown that an unchanging shushing sound close to the baby's ear, or just running the water in the sink, can sometimes calm them...and you.
Step 6: Take a ride Take the child for a walk around the home, or in a stroller around the neighborhood. You can also pack them up and take a ride in the car.
Step 7: Make a rule Make a rule to treat your child gently in all circumstances, remembering that they feel your tension and that alone can send them into anxious frenzies.
TIP: If you can't find help, get hold of a crisis hotline so that you can talk to someone. Post their number near the phone so you have it handy at any time.
Step 8: Seek help Search for a counselor to help you examine and defuse the anxiety you experience. And remember to breathe. The baby will eventually stop crying and you'll be calm again.
FACT: An estimated 1,760 child fatalities in the United States were recorded in 2007, as a result of abuse and neglect.