The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes striking a child for any reason. Spanking is never recommended; infants may be physically harmed by a parent who strikes the child. If a spanking is spontaneous, parents should later explain calmly why they did it, the specific behavior that provoked it, and how angry they felt. They also might apologize to their child for their loss of control. This usually helps the youngster to understand and accept the spanking, and it models for the child how to remediate a wrong.
Whenever a parent strikes a child, it may undermine the relationship of trust that the child needs to thrive. However, infants often frustrate their parents.
Here are a few alternatives:
- First, put your baby in the crib or another safe place while you get control of yourself.
- Call a friend, relative, or partner to get some support or advice.
- If these don't help, reach out to your child's pediatrician for advice.