Details of Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Board safety campaigns are available on the Adult Section of this website under Child Safety.
The most common cause of death in babies is abusive head trauma – the injuries that are caused when a baby is shaken, hit or thrown. Excessive crying is given as a common reason for perpetrating child abuse in infants and high proportions of parents whose babies cry excessively report feelings of aggression towards their baby, even if they never act on these feelings.
It’s important to remember that it can happen to anyone, although some babies such as those whose parents have substance
misuse problems, mental illnesses, are experiencing domestic abuse and/or have a history of violence are more at risk.
There are three main reasons that crying can push parents to breaking point:
- When tired, the noise of a crying baby and the frustration at not being able to stop this crying can increase parents’ stress levels to unmanageable levels.
- Some parents feel that the crying is an indication that there is something wrong with their baby or with their own parenting skills, and this leads to strong emotional feelings of guilt and anxiety.
- Others parents, particularly those who are not attuned to their baby’s feelings and have a poor understanding of child development, may think that their baby is crying deliberately to manipulate them and will react angrily to this.Message and information about the dangers of shaking a baby and advice about crying – are incorporated into a new Coping with Crying film from the NSPCC.