Wakefield Council is helping parents and carers understand the normal crying pattern of young infants. The ICON – ‘Babies Cry, You Can Cope’ programme is designed to help parents and carers understand that infant crying is normal and to help them develop successful coping mechanisms to deal with this. It comprises of four simple messages:
I – Infant crying is normal
C – Comforting methods can help
O – It’s Ok to walk away (for a few minutes if baby is safe)
N – Never, ever shake a baby
It comes after research suggests that some people lose control when a baby’s crying becomes too much, with Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews demonstrating that crying is the main trigger for babies being shaken. Abusive Head Trauma (AHT), previously known as ‘shaken baby syndrome’, causes catastrophic brain injuries, which can lead to death, or significant long term health and learning disabilities.
The ICON programme has already been successfully implemented across the district’s 0-19 health service, including establishing set ICON discussion points in midwife appointments, the health visitor birth visit, and baby’s six week check with the GP and attention has now turned to sharing the ICON messages more widely across the district. You can find more information here.