Shaking a baby is never okay

Caring for a baby is hard work. It means:
Long hours - A baby needs care night and day.
Little sleep - All parents feel tired and short-tempered.

Babies cry for many reasons. Their crying can make parents worried, tense and frustrated. You may wonder if your baby is sick. The sound of your baby's crying can put you on edge. It's not easy when your baby cries and you don't know why and nothing you try works.

All parents have these feelings but it's never okay to take them out on your baby
Never shake or hit your baby. If you do, it could lead to: Children under the age of two are most at risk. Their heads and necks are very weak. Shaking a baby just once can hurt him or her for life. It's never safe to shake a baby. Control your temper. Take a break.

If you start to feel angry:

Ask for help. Have your partner take over, call a friend, or relative to relieve you. Be patient. Do not take your baby's crying personally. He or she is not trying to drive you crazy. It's up to you to keep your cool.

There are safe ways to calm your baby. Check the basics. Make sure your baby is not:

Go outside; take your baby for a walk. Stay close. Some babies need a lot of holding, carrying or gentle rocking. Some babies cry no matter what! Keep in mind that sometimes there may be nothing you can do to stop the crying and that extra care and attention will not spoil your baby.

Get help if you need it.

  1. Call a health-care provider. Ask for tips on how to help your baby stop crying.
  2. Take a parenting class. These may be offered at local community colleges, health clinics or hospitals.
  3. Join a support group for new parents. Ask your health-care provider, local hospital or clinic for information.


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