- Find alternative discipline methods from spanking/hitting
- Motivate your children with rewards for positive behavior rather than punishment for bad behavior
- Become aware of signs of physical abuse; report any suspected physical abuse to police
- Become a child advocate
Shaken baby syndrome
If you are a parent or caregiver
- Understand that infant crying is worse in the first few months of life, but it will get better as the child grows.
- Try calming a crying baby by rocking gently, offering a pacifier, singing or talking softly, taking a walk with a stroller, or going for a drive in the car.
- If the baby won’t stop crying, check for signs of illness and call the doctor if you suspect the child is sick.
- If you are getting upset or losing control, focus on calming yourself down. Put the baby in a safe place and walk away to calm down, checking on the baby every 5 to 10 minutes.
- Call a friend, relative, neighbor, or parent helpline for support.
- Never leave your baby with a person who is easily irritated or has a temper or history of violence.
If you are a friend, family member, or observer of a parent or caregiver
- Be aware of new parents in your family and community who may need help or support.
- Provide support by offering to give a parent or caregiver a break when needed.
- Let the parent know that dealing with a crying baby can be very frustrating—especially when they are tired or stressed, but infant crying is normal and it will pass.
- Encourage parents and caregivers to take a calming break if needed while the baby is safe in the crib.
- Be sensitive and supportive in situations when parents are trying to calm a crying baby.
- Be supportive of work policies (e.g., paid family leave) that make it easier for working parents to stay with their infants during the period of increased infant crying (i.e., between 4-20 weeks of age).
Click here to learn more about physical abuse.
- Preventing Abusive Head Trauma in Children (Center for Disease Control)
- Recognizing Abusive Behavior in Yourself (Helpguide.org)
- Breaking the Cycle (Helpguide.org)
- Helping an Abused Child (Helpguide.org)
- How to Help (No Kid Hungry)