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Remember "HALT"

Parenting Tips


Updated December 13, 2004

Feeling mad or cranky? Afraid you might hurt your baby or do something rash? Whenever you feel out of sorts, think, "HALT."

  • Hungry — Have you missed breakfast? Is it mealtime, but you're running late? Stop what you're doing. Eat something—an apple, a sandwich or the meal you have prepared.
  • Angry — Are you angry about something? Stop what you're doing. Think back to what made you angry. Maybe the car broke down. Maybe someone hurt your feelings. Accept your angry feelings, but don't act them out. Count to 10. Take a few deep breaths. Your angry feelings will pass, and things will get better.
  • Lonely — Are you lonely? Do you feel you spend all your time with your baby and few grown-ups? Stop what you're doing. Call a friend. Take your baby and visit a neighbor. Be with people who care about you.
  • Tired — Are you tired? Maybe you didn't sleep well last night. Maybe you have worked hard all day. Stop what you're doing. Put your baby in the crib or another safe place. Sit with your feet up and relax for a few minutes. Or forget about chores and go to bed early. Thinking "HALT" can often pinpoint what's wrong. It can prevent you from doing something you will regret later. It reminds you to take care of yourself and do what is best for your baby.
These tips were reproduced from the U.S. Department of Education.

View more Infant Parenting Tips.

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