Help available for parents and guardians with crying babies
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Earlier today, we reported that a father had been jailed for nine years for the manslaughter of his son in a baby shaking incident.
Anton Shields was left alone with eight-week-old Cody at a house in Bamford when the incident took place, in June last year.
Cody suffered serious head injuries and died in hospital two days later.
We are now taking this opportunity to share information and advice for how to sooth a crying baby, including a variety of coping methods for parents, carers and guardians who may be feeling under extreme stress.
The website www.cry-sis.org.uk, recommended by the NHS, is a charity offering support to those with babies who cry excessively or have sleeping problems.
It offers lots of advice, guidance and experience from others who have similarly felt the strain of coping with a newborn.
Detective Inspector Steve Bruce, who led the investigation into Cody’s death, said: “Cody was left in his father’s care for a short, 15-minute period, but in that time Anton shook him so severely that he suffered fatal injuries.
“The court heard that neighbours had heard Cody crying loudly just before the incident and although only Anton truly knows what happened that day, it is our belief that he shook Cody because he could not cope under that stress.
“That one act caused immeasurable devastation to Cody’s family and the loss of their baby is something no sentence could ever make up for.
“This case highlights just how fragile a baby’s body can be and why they need to be nurtured with the utmost care.
“I therefore want to reiterate expert healthcare advice on how to deal with crying babies, and why it is absolutely critical that babies are not shaken to stop them crying.”
The advice listed on the Cry-sis website includes:
- Try to identify what is making the baby cry – for example, does its nappy need changing, is its clothing too tight, or is it hungry?
- Check if your baby has wind by sitting them upright and holding them, gently massaging their back;
- Place a crying baby in its cot or a similar safe place and leave the room for a short time, focusing on another task – for example, make yourself a cup of tea;
- Do not go back to your baby if you do not feel in control of any frustration or anger you may be experiencing;
- Do not be afraid to ask for help from a family member or friend, if you feel you are struggling to cope.
The Cry-sis website also lists a helpline that people can call for more help and advice if they are struggling to cope.
This list is not exhaustive and much more help and guidance can be found on the Cry-sis website, or at www.nhs.uk.
Shields, 39 and originally of Hardwick Crescent, Barnsley, was jailed for nine years after admitting the manslaughter of Cody in June last year.
The manslaughter plea was accepted and an earlier murder charged was dropped, following detailed discussions between Cody’s family, prosecutors and police.