There’s a reason that the sound of crying babies is fed into the headphones of SAS recruits in their final stages of training. The sound can be overwhelmingly stressful, and break even the most strong-willed.
But “babies cry, you can cope!” is the key message from NHS and healthcare organisations across the country, who have come together this month to promote lifesaving messages to parents.
Research suggests that some parents and care givers can lose control when a baby’s crying becomes too much. Some go on to shake a baby with devastating consequences.
The UK’s first ever ICON week, spanning from 27 September – 1 October 2021, aims to raise awareness of infant crying and suggest ways of how to cope in a bid to support parents/carers and prevent serious injury, illness and even death of young babies as a result of these incidents.
The crucial points to remember are these:
|Infant crying is normal and it will stop|
|Comfort methods can sometimes soothe the baby and the crying will stop|
|It’s OK to walk away for a few minutes if you have checked the baby is safe and the crying is getting to you|
|Never ever shake or hurt a baby
Most babies start to cry more frequently from two weeks of age, with a peak usually being seen around 6-8 weeks. Although difficult to cope with day in, day out, this is totally normal. This week is all about spreading messages to help normalise infant crying and share coping techniques to help parents deal with the stress it can cause.
The founder of ICON, Dr Suzanne Smith, said:
“Abusive head trauma can occur in any environment when a parent or carer is on the edge due to infant crying.
“The pressure that families are under is only being exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic. The impact can be far reaching and have devastating consequences.
“By sharing these vitally important messages and coping techniques to carers, we’re working towards eliminating harm to babies which is utterly preventable.”
If you think you need help and are finding it hard to cope, don’t continue to struggle.
Help is available from your midwife, health visitor or GP. Alternatively, go online – there are more resources on the ICON website.