Babies cry a lot, which is normal, but it can be frustrating. Increased crying can put babies in danger. Shaken Baby Syndrome is a serious risk when caregivers lose control. It's important to understand why your baby is crying and try calming techniques. If overwhelmed, take a break and seek support.
One thing all babies do is cry. Crying is completely normal and is the main way babies communicate. Still, increased crying can be so frustrating for some parents and caregivers that they put babies in serious danger. A baby's cry increases around two weeks old and peaks around two months old. Some babies cry more often in the afternoon or evening and the crying can go on for hours.
Crying does get better. By the time a baby is three to four months old the long periods of crying are usually over. But before it gets better, it can be very stressful for parents and caregivers. In fact, babies less than a year old are at the highest risk for a serious brain injury caused by shaking known as Shaken Baby Syndrome.
A shaking brain injury most often occurs when a parent or caregiver becomes so frustrated or angry with the baby's crying and loses control, shaking the baby by the shoulders, arms or legs. Nearly all babies with a shaking injury suffer serious injury. At least one in four babies will die. Caring for a baby is a lot of work.
The crying, feeding and lack of sleep, in addition to all the other responsibilities at home, can make parents and caregivers feel overwhelmed and stressed. While these feelings are normal, shaking a baby is not. When your baby is crying try to understand why. Is your baby hungry, tired, or in need of a diaper change? You can also try these suggestions to calm your baby: Gently rock your baby.
Offer a pacifier. Sing or talk to them. Take a walk using a stroller. Be sure to call the doctor if you think your baby is sick or injured. If you find yourself pushed to the limit, take a moment to focus on calming yourself. Place your baby in a safe place, such as on their back in their crib. Walk away for a moment.
Call a friend, relative, neighbor or a parent helpline for support. Check on your baby every five to 10 minutes. You may not be able to soothe your baby, and it is not your fault. Remember, it is normal for healthy babies to cry often for hours at a time during the first four months. Keeping your baby safe is the most important thing to do.
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