Avoiding Shaken Baby Syndrome

Suggested GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS AND NANNIES

Tibetan Care recommends that parents and nannies download and discuss the Shaken Baby Syndrome FAQ published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Newborn to 4-month-old babies are at greatest risk of injury from shaking. Most cases occur between 3and 8 months of age.

PARENT/NANNY COLLABORATION

  • Please discuss tips for soothing your child when she or he cries. What's already working? A pacifier, massage, specific food, etc.
  • Please discuss the child's current schedule (when the baby usually eats, naps, plays, etc.). Maintaining a regular schedule will help keep the child in a good mood, reducing stress on the caregiver as well.

Preventing Shaken Baby SyndromE

Traumatic brain injury may occur when an adult violently shakes a baby in frustration. Here are tips that may soothe a crying child. 

  • Meet the child's basic needs first!
    • feed the baby if hungry
    • lay the baby down for a nap if sleepy
    • change baby's diaper if needed
    • make sure the baby is not sick
    • make sure room temperature is comfortable
    • burp the baby if needed (lay child on back and gently “bicycle” the legs to remove gas pain
       
  • After you have met the child's basic needs, try the following:
    • make direct eye contact and smile
    • gently speak to directly to the crying child; use kind, positive words
    • gently stroke baby's forehead with your fingertips
    • take the baby for a walk
    • offer a pacifier
    • gently rock and/or sing to the baby

If all else fails... make sure your baby is safely in her crib or Pack 'n Play and let her spend a few minutes alone (but still under your supervision).

SAFETY TIPS

  • always support the baby's head (never toss or bounce a 2-month-old during playtime)
  • maintain consistency in the baby's schedule
  • don’t share negative thoughts about crying in front of this child; this may only increase the child's stress
  • provide child with a stimulating environment, but not over-stimulating
  • provide child with an environment that is safe, but not overly restrictive