Preventing shaken baby syndrome

March 19, 2009
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The Massachusetts Shaken Baby Prevention Initiative offers these tips for parents. All babies cry, some for two or more hours a day. It is normal and does not mean you are a bad parent. Help your baby cry less by:

  • Pick your baby up right away when he or she is crying.

  • Try feeding, changing, or rocking him or her.

  • Going for a walk.

  • Swaddling him or her.

  • Distracting him or her with movement, sounds, or a scenery change.

  • Take care of yourself:

  • Get as much sleep as possible.

  • Listen to music with headphones, take a shower.

  • Get regular exercise and eat well.

  • Make a list of people you can ask for help.

  • If you are frustrated or angry:

  • Put the baby down on his or her back in a safe place, like the crib, and leave the room until you are calmer. Take a break from the sound of crying.

  • Call the Parental Stress Line at 1-800-632-8188 or find a support group.

  • Talk to all your baby's care- givers about the dangers of shaking. Never leave your infant with a person who has anger management issues.

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