Tips On Calming A Crying Baby
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is an abusive traumatic brain injury that happens when a baby or small child is violently shaken. It can lead to permanent, severe brain damage or death. In many cases of SBS, a caregiver cannot get the baby to stop crying and, out of frustration or anger, will shake the baby. Parents should talk to everyone who cares for their babies about the best ways to calm them.
For calming a crying baby, the Anne Arundel County Department of Health offers the following tips, which are found in the free healthy pregnancy and baby care kits for county residents:
· Swaddle the baby snugly. Holding and cuddling will make the baby feel secure. Swaddling may not work after the baby is 4 months old.
· Never sleep with a baby. Sleeping in the same room is OK, but sleeping in the same bed can lead to a baby’s death.
· Put the baby on his/her side or stomach for calming when awake. Always put babies on their backs to sleep or nap.
· Allow babies to suck on their thumbs, a pacifier or the breast.
· Use soothing sounds (shushing, humming, singing) or white noise (fan, radio static).
· Use motion such as swaying, rocking or dancing with the baby.
· For babies older than 4 months, try distracting the baby with different toys or activities.
· Lower the noise and lights in a room.
· If you get frustrated, put the baby down in a safe place and call someone for help.
· Call your doctor if you have questions or are worried.
To order the free kits, or for more information on having a healthy pregnancy and baby, Anne Arundel County residents can visit www.aahealthybabies.org. The website also features a free “Taking Care of a Baby” online class, which includes information on safe sleeping and how to calm a crying baby. For more information, call 410-222-7223.