A man was sentenced to a 22-year jail term after being convicted of killing a five-month-old girl in America.
Mason Kamrowski, 20, pleaded guilty to the murder of Brynley Rachelle Rymer and was sentenced to jail for 22 years on Wednesday 27 November.
The jury heard that Kamrowski, who was not the baby's biological father but was living with Brynley's mother, was watching the baby while her mother was shopping on May 21, 2018.
Around 6:30pm, Kamrowski rushed Brynley to Altru Hospital after she suffered a medical emergency.
Doctors advised the baby suffered three heart attacks and two strokes on the way to the hospital, before dying the following day.
It is believed the cause of the injury was Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Kamrowski had a separate unrelated charge of armed robbery dropped as part of a plea deal.
Brynley's family told the Grand Forks Herald "Once those 22 years are up, he still has the chance to do something with his life. How is that fair?"
Kamrowski's lawyer, Tyler Morrow, said the defendant felt remorse. "One thing that will stay with me forever in this case is how many times I've heard him say 'I wish I could go and she could come back."
Brynley's obituary said the baby "brought sunshine to everyone's day with her sweet, sweet smile" and that "she loved to be sang to and fall asleep in your arms and always got so excited when she heard her bottle shake. She hated tummy time and always wanted to be held."
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SHAKE YOUR BABY
Shaking a baby can cause irreparable and fatal harm to the child. However, it wasn't so long ago that people denied the Shaken Baby Syndrome is a legit phenomenon.
Shaking can result in your baby falling into a coma or having a brain haemorrhage. A baby's neck muscles are weak and cannot withstand the force of being shaken vigorously.
One of the most common reasons for Shaken Baby Syndrome is when parents or caregivers become overly frustrated in calming a baby down. The relentless crying can cause caregivers to resort to shaking the baby to stop him/her from crying.
5 TIPS TO PREVENT SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME
Despite how frustrating it can be, your little one is crying out for a reason. Learning how to handle the crying or prevent situations where non-stop crying happens will eliminate any situation where shaking your baby seems like a good idea.
The key is to learn how to take care of yourself and learn your baby's cues so you can diffuse the tension and ease your baby's worries. Try these five tips to help you handle the crying.
1. PRACTISE BREATHING EXERCISES
Learning how to calm down is an undervalued skill, especially in the face of handling a crying baby. Breathing exercises are proven to reduce stress and can be done at any time.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose and push your stomach out to allow more air to enter
- Count for 5 seconds as you breathe in
- Breathe out through your mouth slowly and gently for five seconds
- Repeat these steps for three to five minutes.
- If you can't breathe in for that long, try to start at three second intervals instead
2. SHARE THE WORKLOAD
Many households are dual-income. Along with work, having a baby that won't settle can add undue and additional stress.
Schedule who will take care of the baby and delegate responsibilities between the pair of you.
Feel free to ask parents, in-laws and other caregivers to get involved as well!
3. SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP!
While sleep deprivation is a given during the first year after delivery, too much can cause serious burnout.
You're more irritable, have less patience, and more likely to act impulsively when you're tired.
Find time to sleep when the baby sleeps. Alternatively, you can schedule overnight care so both of you get a chance to get a night's rest.
4. SET UP SUPPORT SYSTEMS
This needs to be intentional, but you'll benefit a lot from having the right moral, emotional, and even physical support to help you on your parenting journey.
Join online groups on social media or forums to read how others manage. Definitely feel free to reach out for advice if you feel it's a safe space. You'll realise you're not on your own and all parents struggle with the same issues!
5. SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Parenthood is far from the idealistic utopia where you just sit and play with your baby who laughs and coos endlessly at your funny faces and sounds.
While your little one isn't always in a good mood, you can cherish every moment, even when he/she is crying!
Temper your expectations and remind yourself that it's not an easy journey, but it does get better along the way. Mistakes will be made, and remember to forgive yourself. No parent is perfect and there's a long learning process!
Let this sad ending of Shaken Baby Syndrome remind us to take care of ourselves and set up the right support systems so your baby grows up in a healthy and happy environment.
This article was first published in theAsianparent.