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Shaken Baby Syndrome

Identify Why A Baby Cries

Research shows crying is the behavior which most often precipitates an infant being shaken. Often, the biggest challenge when taking care of a baby is trying to figure out why the baby is crying. The following questions can help. Post this list in your baby's room as a reminder to everyone who cares for your baby.


  • Does the baby need to be fed or burped? Feed them slowly and burp them often.

  • Does the baby need to be changed? Check their diaper to see if it needs to be changed or loosened.

  • Is the baby too hot or too cold? Feel the baby's head for perspiration or coolness. Add or remove clothing and blankets, as needed.

  • Does the baby seem to have a fever?

  • Do they seem to be in pain from an earache, teething, rash, or insect bite? Call your doctor or health clinic for advice.

  • Does the baby need to suck? Guide their fingers or a pacifier to her mouth.

  • Does the baby need to feel close to you? Babies need to be held often. Touching and cuddling help a baby develop both physically and mentally.

  • Is the baby overtired or over stimulated? Turn off extra noise like the television. Lower the lights. Gently lay the baby in his crib.

Never Shake a Baby

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) occurs when an infant or young child is shaken forcefully. Shaking can cause serious brain injury and even death! It is important for every person who takes care of your baby to be informed about SBS. Read on to learn more about this topic.

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CRYING is the #1 Trigger of SBS

25% of babies die

80% suffer life-long


Educate Others Who May Care For Your Baby

  • Educate the men in your baby's life. Male caregivers may be less familiar with infant soothing and coping skills.

  • Develop a plan with your child's caregiver to provider support during stressful times. Let your caregiver know you will pick up your child immediately if the caregiver is over stressed.

  • Identify someone who can provide care for your baby when you need a break.

  • Tell everyone who cares for your baby that no one should ever shake your baby!


Know What To Do Before You Get Frustrated

  • If you feel yourself losing control, gently put the baby down.

  • Locate a safe place to lay your baby down and walk away.

  • It is normal for your baby to cry - all babies cry- some cry a lot!

  • Crying cannot be "controlled"

  • Taking care of a baby is a BIG job

  • Ask for HELP!

Ways to Help Yourself

  • Try some of the following tips to take care of your own needs. Let your anger out in a safe way. Shake a rug, do dishes or laundry, scrub a floor, beat a pillow or just sit down and have a good cry. It is okay to feel frustrated - as long as you don't take it out on the baby.

  • Calm down. Take several deep breaths; count to 100, put yourself in a time-out chair until you're calm.

  • Stop and think about why you feel so angry. Is it the child or is he just a convenient target for your anger?

  • Sit or lie down, close your eyes, think of a pleasant place in your memory for several minutes.

  • Call a friend, relative, or neighbor to talk about your frustration or see if someone can take over for a while.

  • Do something for yourself. Listen to soft music, exercise, take a shower or bath.

  • Write down the ten best things about yourself. Write down the ten best things about your child.

  • Remember that crying doesn't hurt a baby - - shaking does.

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