We all know babies cry, its natural but it can put us all a little on the edge at times. Sometimes we may feel distraught because the crying last for long periods of time and we can't seem to calm the baby. A screaming baby can add to the stress a new parent, caregiver or babysitter already feels. The crying...the late-night feedings...the constant changing of diapers...the resulting exhaustion...add this to the outside stresses of work, social or financial struggles and this all can lead to a very serious problem known as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS).
This is a very real and serious problem that every parent should be aware of. Here are some facts presented by the CDC on this issue.
The results of Shaking a young infant can be detrimental and even life threatening.
SBS can potentially result in the following consequences:
■ Mental retardation or developmental
delays (any significant lags in a child’s
physical, cognitive, behavioral, emotional,
or social development, in comparison
and learning disabilities
■ Cerebral palsy
■ Severe motor dysfunction (muscle
weakness or paralysis)
■ Spasticity (a condition in which certain
muscles are continuously contracted—
this contraction causes stiffness or
tightness of the muscles and may
interfere with movement, speech, and
manner of walking)8
Recommendations and Prevention
The first thing to remember is that infants cry a lot, especially during the first few months. Another important thing to remember is that you are not a bad parent just because you can't sooth your baby. It's not your fault they are crying and neither is it theirs really, its natural. Because it's normal for a baby to cry more often in the first 4 months of life it may help to think of this period as the PURPLE cry period.
Peak Pattern: Crying peaks around 2
months, then decreases.
Unpredictable: Crying for long periods can
come and go for no reason.
Resistant to Soothing: The baby may keep
crying for long periods.
Pain-like Look on Face.
Long Bouts of Crying: Crying can go on
Evening Crying: Baby cries more in the
afternoon and evening.
For more information about the Period
of PURPLE Crying® and NCBS, visit:
Lastly it's important to know the signs of frustrations to prevent SBS. If you feel you are getting to the point where your limits have been met, place the baby in their crib or another safe area on their back. Ensure they are safe and walk away for 5-10 minutes at a time. Call a close friend, neighbor or relative for help to calm yourself and try to remember the PURPLE cry period.