Shaken Baby Syndrome Etiology And Symptoms

Many parents become overwhelmed with trying to care for a small infant. Not only are they very demanding, but you are forced to monitor their health, behavior, and safety at all times. If you are experiencing postpartum depression, you should definitely seek the advice of a psychotherapist and not allow your emotions to get out of control. Below you will discover everything that you will ever need to know about shaken baby syndrome.

Who Is At Risk

Newborns between the ages of 2-4 months are at a higher risk of injuries due to being violently shaken. Of course, this is not to say that infants between the age of 4 months and children up to 5 years of age are not at a risk, but only that the risks are dramatically lower.

Classification of Shaken Baby Syndrome

Although SBS can lead to debilitating neurological damage, it is classed, as a form of child abuse. When a baby has an outburst of crying, which is inconsolable, a parent will become stressed and begin to shake the baby, by the arms, legs, and shoulders. While the baby is being shaken, the brain will slosh back and forth, along with the head, because the neck muscles are not strong enough to support the head. This is why newborns are at a higher risk that older infants and children.


The damage can range from mild to severe, but most of the time the damage is irreparable. The characteristic injuries include:

  • Subdural Hemorrhage (brain bleed)
  • Retinal Hemorrhage (retina bleed)
  • Spinal Cord Injuries with or without Paralysis
  • Rib fractures
  • Blindness
  • Seizures
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Motor Dysfunctions
  • Developmental Delays
  • Mental and Learning Disabilities


  • Vomiting and Nausea
  • Restlessness and Excitability
  • Inconsolable Crying
  • Decreased Appetite (baby will not nurse)
  • Seizure Activity
  • Alterations in Sleeping Pattern

Consoling the Infant

  • Soft Classic Music
  • Gentle Rocking
  • Pacifier
  • Gentle Muscle Massage
  • Stroller Exercises (sometimes gentle, continuous movement can relax the baby)
  • Automobile Rides
  • Change Soiled Diaper
  • Burping Techniques

Facial grimacing can speak volumes about well your baby is feeling. If a grimace is on your baby’s face it could potentially mean that he is experiencing pain, hunger, or has a tummy ache. The hardest part of being a parent is trying to determine your child’s behavior, especially, when he is crying uncontrollably.


It crucial that you look for the warning signs of caregivers or parents becoming overwhelmed to the point that they may harm their baby. New parents should always rely on their spouses or grandparents to assist in giving them some respite time. If you do not have anyone to rely on and are experiencing burnout, you should not hesitate to call 1-855-427-2736, today.