A campaign has been launched to help new parents and carers cope with their baby’s crying.
A new guide, launched by Suffolk County Council’s Public Health team, offers hints and ideas to help them settle their babies and think about their own wellbeing in the process.
The booklet, which has been designed with input from health visitors and parent support groups, reminds parents to ‘keep calm’ and try different ways to settle their baby, or to ‘keep calm and step away,’ taking five minutes for themselves.
In one UK survey, one in every nine parents said they had been so stressed by their baby crying that they’d shaken them. This can result in serious injury such as Non-Accidental Head Injury (NAHI), also known as Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Mum-of-two, Karen Steward, 34, from Bury St Edmunds, said: “I think the booklet is a good idea. Every baby is different so any information which can help new parents can only be a good thing.
“I always found a white noise app on my phone worked particularly well to get my girls to sleep, and it’s nice to see that on the parenting hacks list.”
The campaign centres on ‘parenting hacks’ – ideas that parents can try to keep their babies calm and settled.
A video has been produced featuring parents talking about their own parenting hacks. Parents are encouraged to share their own weird and wonderful tips about how they settle their babies here.
The booklet also features a ‘CriPad’, where parents can write down their parenting hacks and share them with friends or relatives who may be looking after their baby.
James Reeder, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council, said: “Babies don’t have the words to tell us what they want, which means sometimes knowing what to do can be tough.
“That’s why we’ve created this resource to help parents cope confidently with crying, particularly in those early months where crying increases.
“The booklet offers helpful advice for when baby just won’t settle, but remember all babies are different – it is just as much about finding what works best for you and your baby.
“We want parents and carers to know that they are not alone. You can always ask friends and relatives for help – use the Cripad at the back of the booklet to pass on your own top tips for looking after your baby.”
The new booklets will be included in ‘survival kits’ to new or expectant dads as part of the EPIC Dad Fathers and Families Project, based at Abundant Life Church in Lakenheath.
The backpacks are filled with practical items specially to support new dads and their new baby as well as helpful leaflets with advice and information about support available.
Richard Keeble, project leader for EPIC Dad, said: “We are delighted to be including in our packs the new ‘Keep Calm’ booklets produced by Suffolk County Council.
“They are an excellent resource supporting new parents in how to settle their baby, the best way to hold them, making sure they sleep safely, and staying calm and looking after themselves too.
“EPIC Dad fully supports this campaign and I am sure many new dads and mums will find the new guide incredibly helpful as they begin their parenthood adventure.”
Parents and carers can see here to find out more about the support available and download the Keep Calm booklet.
The Keep Calm booklet will be also available via your health visitor or local children’s centres, as well as some independent nurseries, charities, baby groups and other Suffolk services.