The Driffield Children’s Centres is taking part in a pilot scheme aimed at helping new parents cope with a crying baby.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is one of a handful of local authorities across the country to take part in the NSPCC’s Coping with Crying programme.
Coping with Crying, which is a powerful film shown to new parents, has already been piloted in a number of hospital settings across the UK and now the NSPCC are keen to roll the programme out to community settings, which include children’s centres.
Over the next two years, and working in partnership with midwives from Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the film will be shown to new parents as part of the post-natal care that take place in the council’s children’s centres.
Based on a similar programme in the USA, which reduced the number of babies who suffered non-accidental head injuries by almost half, the film will provide parents with a range of supportive tips and advice about soothing a baby and how they can manage their own stress levels.
Councillor Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and education at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Looking after a baby can be hard at the best of times but coupled with the lack of sleep and all the emotions of a new baby parents can sometimes struggle to soothe their baby.
“It is common for parents to feel frustrated and in the very worst cases some parents may lose their temper which could result in the baby being harmed.
“I hope that after seeing this film it will give parents the strength and the knowledge to cope.”
Bridget Bennett, service manager early years and family support at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “All babies cry and some babies cry a lot in their first three months of life.
“This can have quite a negative effect on parents with some reporting feeling guilty, helpless and inadequate when their baby cries a lot and this is often a reason why they seek help and advice from professionals.
“We hope after parents have seen the film and find themselves struggling to cope with their crying baby they will know that they are not alone and be able to use the tips and advice that they have been given and reduce the possibility of the baby coming to any harm.”
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.”
Tips to help soothe your baby
All babies are different and it’s important for parents to take the time getting to know what helps soothe their baby.
Some things that can be helpful are:
cuddling or carrying your baby close to you
giving 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 or 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
calming things down a bit by taking the baby somewhere where there are fewer people or things to look at.