Stay­ing calm to work out what’s both­er­ing baby

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY -

IT CAN be frus­trat­ing to have a baby or tod­dler who is su­per up­set while you sim­ply have no idea what’s caus­ing the is­sue.

Ba­bies and tod­dlers ex­pe­ri­ence a vast ar­ray of emotions and strug­gle to com­mu­ni­cate their feel­ings to par­ents, es­pe­cially when they’re up­set.

For par­ents of new ba­bies its es­pe­cially dif­fi­cult as you’re still learn­ing what their cues are and what cer­tain things mean.

While an up­set lit­tle one can end up a tir­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s vi­tal to per­se­vere and not to give up.

This col­umn takes a look at steps you can take to get through it and even iden­tify what’s af­fect­ing your child.

It’s time for a time­out – for the par­ent

Deal­ing with a child who is feel­ing an­gry or up­set can be an emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence and can lead to you feel­ing drained and stressed out, which may only in­crease the child’s anx­i­ety.

If your own emotions are un­der con­trol then you can take charge in a calm and ef­fec­tive man­ner.

If you’re feel­ing up­set when deal­ing with your tod­dler or baby, it’s ac­tu­ally a good idea to take a time-out so you can feel calm again and not be stressed.

Maybe take a walk into the neigh­bour­ing room and a few deep breaths.

Re­mem­ber, your child needs you and you’re the most im­por­tant per­son in their world.

Come back to the child and deal with the sit­u­a­tion in a calm and lov­ing man­ner.

Take charge early on

Early iden­ti­fi­ca­tion be­fore your baby or tod­dler be­comes too worked up is a very good idea.

If you jump in to soothe your child when they’re only a lit­tle up­set, it can pre­vent a much bigger is­sue later on.

A good way to do this is to take the child to a neu­tral and com­fort­able place to sit to­gether.

Stay with them and try to do some­thing dif­fer­ent like read­ing a book or a game un­til their feel­ings be­gin to set­tle.

Talk to them in a firm, yet kind way

While you need to take charge, you also need to re­as­sure your baby or tod­dler. It’s im­por­tant to use a firm, but also calm and kind voice, as you talk to them.

Al­ways ac­knowl­edge their feel­ings and talk to them about what emotions they’re feel­ing.

When you do talk to them use sim­ple words to de­scribe their feel­ings as this will show them that you un­der­stand.

For ex­am­ple “The puz­zle is hard and you can’t get the pieces in. That makes you feel cross, but I can help.”

Have your lov­ing arms ready.

Al­ways show your child that they’re wel­come back into your arms.

No matter how un­rea­son­able or dif­fi­cult they’re be­ing when up­set, show them that after­wards your arms are ready to hold them, com­fort them and pro­tect them.

If you just want to have a chat and a bit of re­as­sur­ance, the WBHHS child health team can help.

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