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New Help Available In York To Deal With Crying Babies


6:53am 6th May 2014

York has been chosen to pilot the NSPCC Coping with Crying programme in the North Yorkshire area. The programme involves showing parents-to-be a powerful new film about caring for a crying baby to help them cope with the stresses a new born child can bring.

The film will be shown to parents to be as part of their planned ante natal visits at one of the city’s nine children’s centres.

Looking after a crying baby can be challenging and parents can sometimes struggle to soothe their baby. ‘Concerns about babies’ crying are one of the most common reasons that new parents seek help from professionals.  When their baby cries, it is common for parents to feel frustrated, and in the worst cases they can lose their temper and harm their baby. The NSPCC estimate that around 200 babies a year in the UK suffer from serious head injuries as the result of being shaken, hit or thrown. Evidence shows that crying is often a trigger for this sort of harm.

The NSPCC film provides parents with a range of supportive tips and advice about soothing a baby and managing their own stress. It also tells them about the dangers of shaking a baby. It was created in partnership with experts at Warwick Medical School and Great Ormond Street Hospital, and is based on a similar programme in America which reduced the number of babies who suffered from non-accidental head injuries by nearly half.

Councillor Janet Looker, Mum-of-three and Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Young People, City of York Council, said: “Every parent knows just how difficult it can be to cope with a crying baby, particularly if you’ve not had much sleep. This is a great opportunity to join a simple but ground-breaking project which could have huge benefits for parents and babies and I’m delighted that York has been chosen to work with the NSPCC to trial this important film.”

Chris Cuthbert, Head of Strategy and Development for the NSPCC said:  “This is a ground-breaking new programme based on the best international evidence. It is a relatively simple and low cost intervention, and our evaluation shows that it is helping parents to manage the pressures of new parenthood and soothe their baby. It is critically important that we support families to reduce stress during the significant life changes that accompany the birth of a new baby. We are proud to be extending the programme to many more areas.”

Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said:  “We’re delighted to see such promising results from the evaluation of this programme and are proud of our work supporting the NSPCC by jointly developing and hosting online training for midwives. Midwives see first-hand the stress and worry that parents experience when their baby cries, and need to support parents through this. Everyone looking after a baby needs to know that shaking can have very serious consequences. The NSPCC film helps midwives to communicate this important but difficult message.”

Over the last two years the NSPCC has been running this programme in 24 hospitals and birthing units and over 30,000 parents have now seen the film. The NSPCC’s evaluation results suggest that the film is helping to keep babies safe. Ninety-nine per cent of parents in our evaluation remembered the film at least six months after watching it. Eighty-two per cent said they used advice from the film when caring for their baby. The rate of reported injuries amongst babies with feeding, sleeping or crying difficulties was lower if their parents had seen the film.

Coping with Crying will now test how the film can be shown at different times in settings outside hospitals, such as in antenatal education classes or postnatal home visits. Nineteen areas of the UK are involved in this exciting extension to the project, which is estimated to reach at least 45,000 parents in the next 18 months. The programme will be evaluated to find out when mums and dads are most receptive to the film’s messages and where they can have most impact.

Tips on soothing a crying baby:

All babies are different, and it’s important for parents to take the time getting to know what helps to soothe their baby.

Some things that can be helpful are:

·        Cuddling or carrying your baby close to you.

  • Giving them the breast, bottle, or thumb to suck on.
  • Rocking them in a pram or cradle, or taking them on a car or bus ride.
  • Singing, playing soft music or talking gently to them.
  • White noise, like the sound of a vacuum cleaner. It’s similar to what your baby heard in the womb!


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