Shaken Baby Syndrome - Tips for Calming a Crying Baby

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What can caregivers or parents do to calm a crying baby?

Most caregivers will initiate a series of approaches in an effort to address a crying infant. Reviewing the feeding schedule and checking for a soiled diaper are common. Consideration of health problems (an ear infection or upper respiratory infection), the need to burp the child, or infant tiredness or boredom can all be considered. For infants who seem to have crying in association with feeding or evidence of gastroesophageal reflux (GER), a discussion with their pediatrician is in order. Breastfed infants may cry in response to certain foods (for example, caffeinated beverages) ingested by their mother. Rarely, infants will have continuous crying if a long hair (most commonly from a parent) has accidently wrapped around a toe or finger. Diagnosis is considered if prominent swelling and skin discoloration is noted at the site of the ligature.

Various approaches to the crying infant are commonplace. These include picking up the baby and socially interacting with the child, walking and rocking the child, addressing the possibility of hunger or a soiled diaper, and a quick visual survey of the infant to confirm no unusual changes exist. It is important for parents to accept that the majority of the time their investigation will be fruitless in determining causation of their infant's crying. The fact that he or she cries is not an indictment of their parenting skills. There is generally no hidden management secret other than time and patience.

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