Help for parents and carers with crying babies
Tuesday 07 September 2021
A new resource is being launched in Northumberland this week to help parents and carers cope with their new-born infants when they are crying.
Parenthood brings all kinds of challenges, with emotions running high from both child and their parents or carers. Some people lose control when a baby’s crying becomes too much and can go on to shake a baby with devastating consequences.
The safeguarding team at NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) want to make sure everyone is equipped with the tools needed to cope with a crying baby, and have been leading the ICON roll-out in the county, which is a programme aiming to reduce cases of Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) in infants by highlighting that:
- I – Infant crying is normal
- C – Comforting methods can help
- O – It’s OK to walk away
- N – Never, ever shake a baby
The ICON training has been delivered to GP practices, staff working in the wider community, midwives and health visiting and infant feeding teams working in the 0-19 service through Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s safeguarding midwife and public health lead.
Parents and carers can benefit from support and advice from ICON resources at key touch points including the antenatal period, at birth in hospital, follow-up by the midwife, primary visit and follow-up contacts by health visiting and infant feeding teams, through to the six-week postnatal check with the GP.
Margaret Tench, designated nurse for safeguarding children at the CCG said: “Whilst welcoming a new baby into the home can be a joyous time, it can also be an incredibly stressful time with lots of new challenges and adaptations needed.
“We are working hard in Northumberland to reach parents, including male care-givers, to spread the key message that “babies cry, you can cope”. It’s important that families are given the skills to manage emotive and challenging times when a baby won’t stop crying, as this is when babies are at increased risk of being shaken.
“Shaking a baby can be incredibly dangerous and can cause them permanent damage – and even death in some cases. This it’s why it’s incredibly important that we support all parents and carers who are looking after new-born babies to help them stay in control.”
The national ICON programme has been approved for endorsement from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGPs) and Northumberland is part of its national roll-out.
Find out more about ICON: