We are supporting the first-ever national ICON Week, working with local healthcare partners to promote lifesaving messages for parents around infant crying.
Running until 1 October, the week aims to raise awareness of how newborn babies crying is normal and how parents and carers can cope. It is hoped these messages will help prevent serious injury, illness and even death to infants.
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.
Abusive Head Trauma causes catastrophic brain injuries, which can lead to death or significant long-term health and learning disabilities.
In January, the ICON programme was launched across Barnsley and South Yorkshire to help parents and carers cope with a crying baby.
The evidence-based programme consists of a series of brief interventions that reinforce the simple messages making up the ICON acronym:
- I - infant crying is normal.
- C - comforting methods can help.
- O - it's okay to walk away.
- N - 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 six to eight weeks.
Organisations coming together for ICON Week aim to spread messages to help normalise infant crying and share coping techniques to help parents deal with the stress it can cause.
Councillor Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, said: "Since its launch earlier this year, we have seen parents, healthcare staff and partners use ICON to have meaningful conversations around looking after a newborn baby.
"If you're struggling to cope with your baby crying, you are not alone. We are proud to be supporting the first-ever national ICON Week, and hope it will help parents understand that infant crying is normal and that there is lots of support out there to help you cope."
Dr Suzanne Smith, Founder of ICON, said: "ICON is about sharing messages of support and advice to parents and carers who might be struggling to cope. We aim to normalise the fact that babies do cry, and some aren't easily soothed. We want to share information far and wide about what to do in these situations and how to stay calm.
"By sharing these vitally important messages and coping techniques to carers, we are working towards eliminating to babies which is utterly preventable."
If you think you need help and are struggling to cope, support is available.
You can speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP for their advice. There are also resources available on the ICON website, including top tips for staying calm.