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Have a Plan: Shaken Baby Syndrome


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Call the Parent Trust Family Help Line at 1.800.932.HOPE (4673).

All babies cry. It’s okay. Crying is one way your baby can tell you what she needs. It’s normal for babies to cry two to four hours a day. Even though crying is typical, it can still be stressful.

Learning how to help calm a crying baby can help you feel better. Having a plan can help you stay calm if you feel like you’ve tried everything and your baby is still crying. These calming activities can be part of your plan:

  • Breathe. Take some deep breaths to help reduce feelings of anger and tension.
  • Follow the 10-foot rule. Place your baby in a safe place and walk 10 feet away until you have calmed down.
  • Take a break. Gently lay your baby down on his or her back and take a break.
  • Talk to someone. Call a friend or relative who will listen and be caring. It can help to share your thoughts and feelings.
  • Go for a walk with your baby. A simple walk around the block can help calm both you and your baby.

Shaking a baby can cause lasting injuries and even death. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can.

Additional resources

Washington residents and agencies may order hard copies of the brochures by sending an email with their address and requested quantity to