Babies cry. Have a plan!

What can parents do?

Checking your babies basic needs:

  • Is it time to eat?
  • Does he/she need to burp after eating?
  • Is it time for a diaper change?
  • Are there any signs your baby is sick(fever, vomiting)? Seek medical care if you have any concerns about your baby's health.

Choose your baby's caregivers wisely.

Before leaving your baby with anyone, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this person want to watch my baby?
  • Have I had a chance to watch this person with my baby before I leave?
  • Is this person good with babies?
  • Has this person been a good caregiver to other babies?
  • Will my baby be in a safe place with this person?
  • Have I gone over my Crying Plan with this person?

What happens when you shake a baby?

Sometimes, people get so frustrated they will shake a crying baby.

It is important to understand, NO ONE PLANS TO DO IT; it just happens. But shaking a baby, even for a second, can cause serious injury or even death.

Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma is a serious type of brain injury that can occur when an infant or toddler is violently shaken, usually in response to crying that will not stop. Babies' neck muscles aren't strong and don't provide much support for their large heads. Visit for more information.

Shaking a baby - or any other type of violent behavior - is a serious form of child abuse with serious consequences for the adult, too.

This is my crying plan!

(Share it with anyone who cares for your baby)

All babies cry, some more than others. Crying is a baby's language. When my baby cries she may be lonely, scared, tired or he may cry for no reason that we can figure out. So if my baby cries these are some things to try:

  1. First, check my baby's physical needs.
    • Is she hungry?
    • Does he need to burp?
    • Is her diaper dirty or wet?
    • Is he too hot or too cold?
    • Are there any signs of sickness(vomiting or fever)? Seek medical care immediately if there are concerns.
  2. Try some calming techniques, find out what works best for your baby.
    • Swaddling
    • Use of "white noise"
    • Gently swing or rock her
    • Take him for a stroller ride
    • Place her in a car seat and go for a car ride
    • Breast feeding and/or skin to skin holding
  3. It is more important to stay calm than it is to quiet the baby. Sometimes babies cry for no apparent reason. When this happens, feeling frustrated is normal.

    Never Shake a Baby!

    To calm yourself try:

    • Going outside for fresh air
    • Taking several deep breaths
    • Counting to 100
    • Washing your face or taking a shower
    • Exercise. Do sit ups or walk up and down the stairs a few times
  4. Also try using some of the following coping techniques:
    • Put the baby down in a safe place like a crib, and check back when feeling calm.
    • Call a friend or neighbor
    • Call the doctor if crying lasts over 3 hours

Take a break, NEVER SHAKE!

For information about crying babies call: IdahoCareline 2-1-1 or search

The project described was supported by Grant Number H25MC00245 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Health Resources and Services Administration or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.