Have you ever heard of the dangers of shaking babies? Hopefully you have. But why is it so important?
Babies are incredibly cute and sweet. They are a wonderful blessing to parents and family. Yet, many parents can recall at least one time when they had to deal with an inconsolable baby.
Some loving parents or caregivers can lose their patience in times of extended crying if they can’t figure out the problem.
When a baby cries, it is important to go through the checklist in your mind: Does she want to nurse, or want a warm bottle? Does she have gas or need to burp? Does her diaper need changed? Is she too cold or hot? Is she just tired and needs put to bed? Does she want rocked or walked around? Is she in pain?
Sometimes parents may go through this checklist and still not figure out how to soothe their child. If the crying lasts very long, emotions can escalate.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Shaken Baby Syndrome is a “serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler.”
Those who tend to be more prone to shaking babies are those with addictions, stress, depression, anger issues, unstable conditions, young/single parents, and those who were abused as a child.
According to statistics, those who shake babies are more likely to be male than female. Usually, it is the baby’s father or boyfriend/husband of the mother. Sometimes it is also the babysitter or mother who does this.
Shaking a baby can cause death or lifelong disability. It is an extremely serious issue. Knowledge is key.
How can you prevent someone (or yourself) from getting to the point where anger is taken out on your baby? Here are some things that can prevent violence toward your child.
- As a mom, it is advisable to never allow a new boyfriend to watch your baby. Or anyone that is inexperienced with young children, or who has anger issues. Be very selective of who watches your baby.
- There are a couple tricks that parents over the years have turned to for inconsolable babies: A warm soothing bath, or a car ride. Only operate a vehicle if you are under control of your emotions, legally able to, and are not under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications.
- Make sure you and all who watch the baby, have a plan in place for when frustration or anger escalates. The best idea in those times, is to lay the baby down in a crib, and shut the door. Go to a quiet part of the house and allow yourself to calm down. The baby may still be crying, but at least he/she is in a safe place while you de-stress. It won’t hurt them to cry for a little bit. Next, if you are alone, call someone for advice or help. There is no shame in this. Often it takes a fresh, calm person to handle these situations.
- Sometimes, caregivers or parents can’t figure out why the baby is crying so much. You may need to call your pediatrician or family doctor for advice.
In conclusion, it’s very important that everyone who cares for children be prepared in case they encounter an inconsolable baby. Violence toward a baby can end in possible death, lifelong disability, losing parental rights, and even jail time. A moment of anger can change lives. Have a plan in place, carefully choose caregivers, and educate all those who care for your child. You can do this!