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  1. #1
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    Default Shaking the baby

    Hi, I have a friend with a 5 week old baby and recently she has begun shaking the baby to settle her. It's not a violent shake, it's more of an agressive rock but it does make me a little concerned. The baby's head does bounce around a little. So my question is how much shaking is too much? The baby does settle after she's been rocked this way but I wonder if it's because she's received some kind of brain damage???

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    How does she do the shake? Can you describe it?

    We used to 'jiggle' DD across our knees to settle her, and that worked. I would never have described it as shaking though - that implies a more violent/ extreme movement.

    When you say the head is bouncing around 'a little' how much do you mean? A newborn's head should not be bouncing, although it may move just a little with any jiggly/ rocking type movement.

    Babies often settle after being rocked, swung, or 'vibrated' (e.g., in a bouncer) but the movement should never be a violent one.

    Have you spoken to her about it?

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    I'd be cautious about speaking to her unless you really thought there was some danger to the child, in which case I'd still probably avoid talking to her and get perhaps DOCS involved or similar.

    I do agree with the above poster though about jiggling being different to shaking.

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    Default Shaking the baby

    We also jiggled our DS. He still thrives on this sort of vestibular stimulation.

    My mum was always worried it was shaking, so I spoke to my MCHN and showed her what I do. She reassured me that our jiggle was not shaking.

    Is there a professional you could demonstrate it to with a doll get to gauge of she is in fact shaking her bub?
    Last edited by giggle berry; 28-08-2012 at 13:10.

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    Default Re: Shaking the baby

    if it seems a little excessive maybe you could gently say something along the lines of "wow she seems quite calm. Most babies would find that really unsettling cos they usually prefer more gentle movements. How unusual. Maybe you should mention it at your next doctor appointment just to make sure nothing else is going on."

    I think sometimes going straight out and telling them it they are being too rough can push them to make a point trying to prove you wrong


    Edited. Didn't mean to quote

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    Default Shaking the baby

    We used to rock/bounce/pat DS aggressively. But he had reflux and for some reason the bumpier the ride, the better he settled. I guess to outsiders it may have appeared dangerous but it was a progressively developed bunch of techniques and his head was never left to freely rattle around without some form of support.

    What is mum's demeanour when she's settling? Does she appear tense and frustrated or does she handle confidently? If she's relaxed with what she's doing then I'd probably leave it go unless she clearly has NFI and has the head and neck flopping around like a rag doll.

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    I'll just add that we also used to seek out pebbly patches of ground to drive DD's pram over, as she liked the 'jiggle' that much! Rocking and swinging did nothing for her.

    Once, at home, we put a length of electrical cable down on the floor in loops, just so that we could drive the pram over it back and forth! I'd forgotten about that until now. The crazy things you do in those early days...

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    Default Shaking the baby

    Quote Originally Posted by Girl X View Post
    I'll just add that we also used to seek out pebbly patches of ground to drive DD's pram over, as she liked the 'jiggle' that much!
    Us too!😃

    He always preferred to go "off road".

    I'd also purposely choose routes with lots of speed humps when driving as he seemed to live those too! Hated stop signs or red lights!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph83 View Post
    The baby does settle after she's been rocked this way but I wonder if it's because she's received some kind of brain damage???
    Shaken baby syndrome is a severe injury. Usually from holding a baby up and shaking it violently where it's head flops back and forth. Or throwing it. You would see symptoms within minutes-days. Vomiting, not settling, then lethargy and other neurological problems like seizures and breathing difficulties. Bleeding in the eyes is a common symptom of brain injury.

    It's good that you're concerned and all that, and obviously I haven't seen exactly what she's doing, but it's not as simple as the baby settling well because she's just gotten some brain damage.

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    well i suggested to her that if she were to rock her like that to support her head. the head does flop about a bit. i would say it moves 2-5cm in each direction. I took the baby and put her on my shoulder and held her head in place and rocked the top part of my body so her whole body was moving in the same controlled motion. The baby settled and I told her to try it like that from now on, but she went back to her usual way, cause it works for her. I'm going to try to be present at the next midwife visit to demonstrate it to her. Just keeping an eye on her as she has been really unsettled lately, plus she does hold her head to one side, but has done that since birth...


 

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