Tips 4

Draw up an "oh, shit" plan

Asset 11

Life as the parents of infants has its challenges. Draw up a plan for responding to such demands, which also lists where you can find help.


Be aware of what could make you feel stressed, such as not enough food or sleep. Create and use an “oh, shit” plan which covers the sensible things to do when the demands pile up, and which people bring you relief when its needed.

You’ll find life demanding at times when you get a baby, but good preparation can make these demands easier to handle. Thinking through things which might happen in advance will allow you to draw up a plan for tackling them. Every child and every parent is different, but some challenges are common to all. A crying baby, lack of sleep, staying awake at night and a new life with fresh responsibilities are demanding for many newly fledged parents. You can’t be prepared for everything, but we hope our 10 smart tips can teach you a bit more and provide a little reliable and positive advice for dealing with some difficult conditions. You can, for example, read more about why babies cry and what you can do to help in tip 5. Be honest, and ask for advice and help if you’re unsure.

Some adults can become irritated and short-tempered if they don’t get enough to eat, while others need plenty of sleep to function at their best. It’s important to take this seriously by establishing fixed mealtimes so you don’t forget to eat, and by ensuring that you get enough sleep. Their own childhood experiences can make the parental role difficult for some. Being conscious of your own danger signals when you get stressed could allow you to make good choices before your feelings take control. Such signs could be shortage of sleep over several days, setting high standards for yourself which you struggle to meet, going many hours without food, or feeling frightened, sad or unhappy over time. If that’s what you’re experiencing, or you see that your partner is struggling, it’s important to talk about it, to ask for help, and to accept support and respite. Many people find themselves in this position, and much good help and advice is available from your local health centre.

Sometimes you’ve done everything you can to help your child, but it still keeps crying inconsolably. People tackle this in different ways – some manage to stay calm, while others become very upset, stressed or cross. Such feelings can make it difficult to think straight. Taking out your anger or despair on your baby or others could cause serious injuries. It can therefore make sense to have a plan about what to do if you’re on the verge of losing control. None of us are the same, and we differ over what calms us down or who we’ll turn to for help. So each of us must draw up our own personal, specific and practical “oh, shit” plan to be prepared for how we’re personally going tackle stress and frustration. You’ll find this below.

You can also use the "Oh, shit" template which you find on page 26 and 27 in the book you receive on 'helsestasjonen'.


If you recognise the signs that you’re getting stressed, it’s easier to make the right choices before your feelings take control.

Innholdet på denne siden er utviklet i samarbeid med Tone Emilie Løvjomås Spinnanger, spesialsykepleier og fagrådgiver i Stine Sofies Stiftelse.