Children's Hospital Colorado

Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)

What you can do to prevent SBS

Parents and caregivers need to plan what they will — and won't — do to deal with a crying baby. Parents should share the dangers of shaking with everyone who cares for their child. Just saying "don't shake a baby" is not enough.

For parents

Print copies of these tips on calming a crying baby and put them in locations around your home where you and the baby spend a lot of time. Put one on the kitchen refrigerator, in the baby's bedroom and in the family room. Make a plan for coping with the challenge of a crying baby. Download our Calm a Crying Baby brochure and share it with anyone who cares for your child.

For babysitters and other caretakers

Every time you leave your baby in the care of a spouse, boyfriend, relative, friend or babysitter, share these tips with whoever cares for your baby. These handy tips outline when to feed the baby, when to put the baby down for a nap, and advice for the baby's caretaker to prevent shaken baby syndrome (SBS).

Don't leave your baby in the care of other people without telling them that it is NEVER okay to shake the baby. Make sure that everyone who cares for your child knows about the dangers of shaking. Tell them that allowing a baby to cry is okay if the baby's needs have been met. Let them know that it is okay to call for help if they get frustrated.

For those families without young children in their homes

Parents of young children often need a break, especially if they are caring for a crying baby. Show your support by reaching out to stressed parents, helping them with babysitting and household chores. Sometimes parents of crying babies just need to talk, and you can help by just being there to listen.