What is shaken baby syndrome?
Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when an infant or toddler is shaken, and their brain sustains serious damage.
Who would do that, right?
It turns out hundreds of babies die each year, with up to 1,200 estimated cases each year in the U.S. alone.
This occurs when a parent, family member, babysitter or caregiver shakes a child out of anger and frustration.
The result of a shaken baby is oftentimes permanent brain damage or death.
What is the usual cause of frustration?
Some babies cry more than others.
Some babies go through periods where they can not be soothed no matter how hard you try.
There is a term coined by behavioral expert Ronald Barr called
The crying is unexpected, and at random times
The baby is resistant to being soothed, and will not stop crying
The baby may make a face as if they're in pain, even if they're not
The crying can last as long as 5 hours a day
This generally occurs more in the late afternoon and evening
Does every baby go through a period of intense crying?
When your baby reaches it's peak crying age, it could be more or less than other babies. Never compare your baby to another. All babies will cry irrationally from time to time.
It's important to remember to remain calm and understand that you do not have a "bad baby".
If you feel you are on the verge of a meltdown, set your baby somewhere safe such as with a spouse or in their crib with no covers or toys, and step away until you regain composure.
And most importantly, make sure that whoever you leave your baby with understands that they should never shake a baby.
Never be too embarrassed to reach out for help if you feel immense stress when you're with your baby, or if someone you know has shaken your baby.
Visit www.childhelp.org for more information on free and anonymous support lines.
Is it safe to bounce a baby on your knee?
This is generally considered safe, though make sure to always exercise caution especially with newborns.
Most parents would never shake their own baby,
but under enough pressure a babysitter might.
Please remember to share and help raise awareness of Shaken Baby Syndrome.