Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas Inc.

Tips for Caregivers

Sometimes babies just need attention. Be patient. Remember, taking care of a small baby is a big job. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed in the situation. It’s alright to feel frustrated with a crying child. It is NOT alright to shake a child to stop the crying. You may stop the crying, but also change a child's (and your) life forever in just one moment of uncontrolled frustration.

Studies show that 50% of the American public does not know that shaking a baby can cause blindness, mental retardation and even death . Make sure that everyone who cares for your child knows, never, never, never shake a baby!

You’ve tried everything and the baby still cries...

  • Place the baby in a safe place, like a crib, and leave the room for a few minutes.
  • Sit down, close your eyes and take 20 deep breaths.
  • Relax!
  • Exercise.
  • Play music.
  • Call a friend or relative.
  • Take a shower or bath.
  • Shake a rug.
  • Hug a pillow.
  • Have a cool drink.
  • Read a book.
  • Think about how much you really love your baby and would not want to do anything to hurt him/her.
  • Ask a trusted friend or relative to “take over” for a little while.
  • Call a counselor who can help at 1-800-451-2229.
  • Don't pick your baby up again until you feel well.

For help, professional assistance is available.
Call The Family Health Line at 1-800-451-2229.