Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome is a condition that happens when a baby is shaken violently. Shaking a baby can cause brain damage, life-long disabilities, or death.

If you feel like you might lose control, put the baby in a safe place and walk away or ask someone for help.

Never shake a baby.

Listening to a baby cry for long periods of time can be very frustrating and upsetting for parents and caregivers, and is the most common trigger for shaking a baby.

Things to Try if your Baby Won't Stop Crying

  • Learn to read your baby's cues and respond before he starts crying
  • Go to your baby as soon as she starts crying
  • Check to see if your baby is hunger, wet/dirty, warm, cool, sick or in pain
  • Try gentle rocking, soft singing, a warm bath or going for a walk to soothe him/her
  • Have someone you trust come over and look after her for awhile to give you a break
  • Calm yourself by exercising, reading a book, having a cup of tea or taking a hot shower
  • Talk to someone about your feelings

Normal Infant Crying

It's normal for a baby to cry more often and for longer periods of time at certain points in their life.

Here's what you and anyone caring for your baby should know about infant crying.

Most babies:

  • Will start to cry more often after 2 weeks of age
  • Will cry the most at 6-8 weeks of age, after which time crying will begin to decrease
  • Will cry often and for 20-60 minutes at a time
  • Cry for up to 2-3 hours per day
  • Cry more at night, sometimes for an hour or longer
  • Have at least one fussy period each day, often in the evening

In the first 5-6 months, it is normal for a baby's crying to increase in intensity, and the baby may not be consolable.

Sometimes there is no reason to explain why the baby is crying, and there is often nothing you can do.

Call the Parent Talk Line to a Public Health Nurse about your baby


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