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Shaking a baby

One of the visual cues I use in my seminars is to ask parents to make their hand into a fist.

You can use the shape and size of your fist to measure several things. For a start, one fist is the size of your heart. (and to get an idea of how strong it is as a muscle, try to deflate a tennis ball with your hands. That is the power your heart has everytime it beats.)

Put two together, facing each other, and there you have the brain.

Of course it is a general approximation, but it gives you an idea of size.


Imagine a baby’s head. And then, imagine the size of two baby fists inside that skull

That is one of the reason babies’ brains can be so badly damaged if shaken. They have a little brain inside a big skull, with fluid around it, but lots of room for it to move.

A video warning parents of the dangers of shaking a baby was recently released in the UK. The accompanying article has some great tips for helping parents and caregivers cool down instead of shaking the baby out of frustration.

A key idea is to introduce time out for yourself. Learn to remove yourself if your frustration is rising. Make sure your baby is safe, and leave the room. Leave the house if you need to, and run a few sprints up and down the driveway, or plug your headphones in and listen to one song, then return. Just focus on remaining in control. Be the adult.

About rgoodchild

Parenting and education coach, working primarily with ECE teachers, and parents of 0-8 year olds. Author of 27 published print titles, and a few e books too. Was a freelance writer Mother, business woman, entrepreneur.


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The Elephant in the Room
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