As you become a parent, you realize that it is a very stressful time, especially when it comes to figuring out why your baby is crying. Parents, grandparents, caregivers, or anyone who watches children need to learn how to manage the stress of the baby. When you lose control of your stress, it can result in injury or death, it is very important to realized when your stress level is too high and ask for help.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends –
When Your Baby Cries, Take a Break! There are sometimes when you are trying to calm your crying baby and nothing seems to work, it is very important to keep in control of your temper. No matter how stressed or angry you are it is NEVER okay to throw, shake, hit, slam, or jerk any child. If you feel like you are getting overwhelmed, angry or feel like you are about to lose control try —
- Take a deep breath and count to 10
- Place your baby in a safe place and leave the room, let baby cry alone for 10-15 minutes
- Call someone close to you for emotional support
- Call your child’s doctor, there could be a medical reason why your baby is crying
Be patient, colicky and fussy babies eventually grow out of the crying phase. Keeping your baby safe is the most important thing you can do, even if you feel frustrated(which is normal) keep in control and handle your baby with care.
Important Information for Caregivers
Anyone who you let care for your baby should know the dangers of shaking or striking a baby’s head. This includes anyone–boyfriends, girlfriends, older siblings, grandparents, and neighbors. If your child is being cared for by someone else, take time to watch the caregiver-child interaction. Do they enjoy talking or playing with your children? How would they calm a crying baby? Remember to keep in mind the caregivers personality and habits, for example people who are patient, responsible, and trustworthy are ideal caregivers, where people who are easily angered or heavily drink alcohol, or use other drugs are not ideal.
What to do when a baby cries
You may have already, or will learn that it isn’t always easy to figure out why your baby is crying. It could be something like a wet diaper, or they are hungry, but babies communicate through crying and it could be that they are over-tired, or cold. Just because your baby cries doesn’t mean they dislike their parents, it is simply their way to express themselves and they may cry for no reason. Try these tips to soothe a crying baby —
- Check to see if their diaper needs changing
- Swaddle your baby in a large thin blanket (Ask your nurse or child’s doctor how to do it correctly)
- Feed your baby slowly, stopping to burp often
- Offer a pacifier to your baby
- Hold your baby on your bare skin (Chest, cheek to cheek, etc)
- Sing to your baby or use soft soothing music
- Take your baby for a walk in a stroller
- Go for a ride in the car with your baby(Always use a car seat)
If you have tried all of these, and your baby is still crying, try them again. Babies usually become so exhausted and fall asleep from crying for extended periods of time, if all else fails talk to your child’s doctor and share your concerns and stress.
Abusive Head Trauma
Abusive head trauma, including shaken baby syndrome, is a serious type of head injury that is caused by shaking, throwing, hitting, slamming or jerking you baby. This, too often, results in death of a baby, it can also lead to —
- Bleeding around the brain
- Hearing Loss
- Speech or learning disabilities
- Brain damage
- Mental retardation
- Cerebral palsy
- Intellectual disability
Babies are not able to fully support their heavy heads, as a result, violent and forceful shaking or impact can cause a baby’s brain to be injured. Victims of abusive head trauma may show one or all of the signs and symptoms — irritability, lethargy(trouble staying awake), trouble breathing, vomiting, and coma(unable to be awakened)
Abusive head trauma often occurs when a parent or other caregiver reacts impulsively in anger or frustration, often because the baby will not stop crying. Abusive head trauma is a form of child abuse.
This information contained in this article should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Information provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics