A crying baby can get to us all. But it is of dire importance to all parents and caregivers to know how to properly handle and react to that crying, particularly if it is incessant. Some parents have a much greater tolerance for a crying baby, trying anything and everything to soothe the baby. But sometimes a parent who is extremely tired, trying to deal with other children and maybe even juggling a job, finds themselves unable to deal with this constant crying.
Above all .. never Shake a baby, even momentarily! This can result in Shaken baby syndrome, which is a type of inflicted traumatic brain injury that happens when a baby is violently shaken. A baby has weak neck muscles and a large, heavy head. Shaking makes the fragile brain bounce back and forth inside the skull and causes bruising, swelling, and bleeding, which can lead to permanent, severe brain damage or death.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you just cannot deal with a crying baby, assuming you have tried feeding the infant, changed their diaper and tried some good burping, then try some tactics that have helped us all to cope.
Let the baby cry for short periods, checking on the baby and trying to soothe the baby to go to sleep, if possible, in between times. Note too that if a baby appears to be in pain or just will not stop crying then you might need to call your pediatrician, as even babies have emergencies sometimes. We are not suggesting that you just leave the baby to cry, but give yourself a few breaks so it does not get more overwhelming.
If you live within a short distance of a relative or friend that can come over and give you a break do not hesitate to call. This is what family and friends are for, especially in times like this. Obviously, a spouse can be a great support at this time and both parents should take advantage of some alone time whenever it can be worked in, even if it is for short 15 minute breaks.
All prospective parents need to know that they should never shake a baby ... put the baby down if it is getting to you. Take some deep breaths ... yes, this does really help in stressful situations. And when the baby sleeps try to also get some rest, especially in the early months after birth.
Symptoms of shaken baby syndrome include extreme irritability, lethargy, poor feeding, breathing problems, convulsions, vomiting, and pale or bluish skin. Shaken baby injuries usually occur in children younger than 2 years old, but may be seen in children up to the age of 5. Symptoms of these injuries may not be immediately noticeable.