The number one reason people give for shaking a baby is inconsolable crying. They get frustrated, lose control, and violently shake a baby in an effort to stop the crying. They just want the crying to stop.
That's why it's important for everyone to understand that crying is normal. That's how babies communicate. In fact, it is not unusual for them to cry for two to three hours a day. Some cry for even longer periods — and for no obvious reasons.
While most perpetrators are male, there is no typical profile. Anyone who becomes frustrated is capable of shaking a child. Those most at risk are caregivers with little or no knowledge of how to safely care for crying infants or young children.