Never Shake Your Baby
Sometimes when a baby cries, a parent will shake the baby. The parent may think that shaking is not as bad as hitting or spanking. Some parents handle a baby too roughly in play.
Never shake a baby. Babies have large heads and weak neck muscles. Brain tissue is very fragile. Sudden motion can damage brain cells. When an adult shakes a baby in anger, the force may be five to 10 times stronger than if the child had fallen.
The damage can kill or disable a child. Shaken babies can become blind or deaf. They can develop cerebral palsy or seizures. They can be left with severe learning or behavior problems.
Avoid rough play, even though your baby seems to like it. Avoid any kind of rough or sudden movement.
- Don't jog or jump with your baby on your back or shoulders.
- Don't throw your baby into the air.
- Don't spin your baby around.
- Don't swing your baby around by a leg and arm or by the ankles.
Explain this danger to everyone who cares for your baby. Older children, neighbors, grandparents and others need to follow this rule.
If you get angry at your baby, stop what you're doing. Put your baby in a safe place. Take 10 deep breaths. Call a friend. Write down your feelings. When you feel calm again, go back to your baby. Whisper soothing words. Gently stroke your baby's back. Pick up your baby and walk. Rock in a rocking chair.
For more information about dads and their baby's first year, get The Everything® Father's First Year Book by Vincent Iannelli, MD, which is published by Adams Media and is now available at your favorite bookstore.
You can also order The Everything® Father's First Year Book right now from amazon.com.