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Parenting Stress Busters:
*Believe that your needs are important
* reserve time for you
* Stay focused on what is important to you as a family by frequently looking at your family values
* Don’t sweat the small stuff, let it go
* Get physical exercise
* Find time for a nap
* Eat nutritious food
* Ask for help
* Talk to your partner about how you can support each other
* Listen to advice, but remember the decision is YOURS
* Gather information and them make your own responsible choices about parenting
* Let other know what doesn’t work for you
* Seek medical care for depression
*Spend one-on-one time with siblings when baby is sleeping
* Finding a child care provider that can be trusted to provide loving care and stimulation
* Tell your partner how much you appreciate his/her efforts (you can never do this to much)

Try to think of 2-3 things you can do over the next week to reduce your stress.
Now try to think of 2-3 things you can do to help your partner to reduce his/her stress.

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Coping With a Crying Baby
Taking care of a crying baby can be frustrating and irritating, but remember; crying is the ONLY way a baby has to communicate. The baby is not trying to make your life miserable; he or she is just trying to inform you of a need. When a baby in your care won’t stop crying, try some of the following coping strategies:
* Meet the baby’s basic needs: food, diaper change etc.
* Check for signs of illness like a fever or swollen gums or warm red ears. If signs are present call your physician or give your baby proper care based on the symptoms.
* Rock, walk or dance with your baby
* Take baby for a ride in a stroller
* Put the baby in a baby swing
* Swaddle the baby snugly in a soft blanket
* Put the baby in a car seat and take the baby for a ride in the car
*Turn up the music on the stereo, run the vacuum, or let water run in the tub for a few minutes, babies enjoy constant, rhythmic noise.
* Sing or quietly talk to your baby
* Put baby in a soft front carrier close to your body and breath slowly and calmly; the baby may feel your calmness and become quite.
* Give baby a pacifier
* Lay baby on tummy across your lap and gently rub or pat the baby’s back
* Massage the baby’s body and limbs gently, use warmed lotion if the weather is cold.
* Call a friend or relative that you trust to take over for a while, then get away, get some rest and take care of yourself
* If nothing else works, put the baby down in their bed, close the door and turn up the TV or radio, check on baby every 10-15 minutes.

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Babies can’t say to you, “Ok, I have had enough,” or “Please I want some more.” But there are ways they have of showing you.

When I have had enough I:
* Turn my head away
* Look away
* Sneeze or cough
* Arch my back
* Pull away
* Kick my legs, wave my arms
* Push away
* Pound on my tray
* Hiccough

When I want some more I:
* Smile
* Look into your eyes
* Widen my eyes
* Open my hands and reach out
* Laugh
* Get excited
* Try to touch you
* Sometimes cry so you will pick me up

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last updated 07/14/09