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Babies Cry – I can cope

The ICON programme was development to support parents and care givers looking after young babies, whether this is the first time, or they have cared for children in the past, it is hard work.

Research tells us that some people lose control when a baby’s crying gets too much for them to cope with. Sometimes when this happens the person caring for the baby shakes them, this is usually because they are overwhelmed and frustrated and they have no intention to hurt the baby. Even so shaking a baby can have devastating consequences.

So what does ICON stand for and how can it help?

ICON provides a simple message that can support parents/care givers to cope better when babies are crying.

*I- Infant crying is normal (and it will stop)- Did you know that babies start to cry more frequently from around 2 weeks of age and last longer. It doesn’t last forever though, from about 8 weeks of age babies will start to cry less each week.

*C- Comforting methods can help- Soothing the baby can help and the crying will stop, but often not straight away. You could try going for a walk with baby, rocking, patting or singing to them. Some things to think about: Are they hungry? Could the baby be tired? Do they have a wet or soiled nappy that needs changing? Are they not very well?

*O- Its OK to walk away- As long as the baby is in a safe place you can walk away if the crying is getting too much for you. Take a few minutes, make a drink, take some deep breaths, have a snack, stamp your feet, shout or cry or whatever you need to in order to manage your feelings and calm yourself. Then go back to baby and try again.

*N- Never, ever shake a baby (or hurt them in any other way)- It can cause lasting brain damage or death.

If your baby is unwell contact your GP or call NHS 111

Please contact your GP or Health Visitor for further support if you need it- they will not judge you. They will listen and offer advice and guidance as well as getting extra help and support for you if this is needed.