Have you, a family member or friend ever felt like a failed parent when a newborn cried inconsolably despite your best efforts to comfort the child?  It’s a common feeling.  New parents – and even experienced caregivers – can easily feel overwhelmed or frustrated by an infant’s crying. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, and often people think they must be doing something wrong.

There are many misperceptions about babies crying, and well-intended advice from family and friends may be inaccurate, increasing frustration and anxiety. The reality is all infants have extended bouts of crying, and there are effective ways to cope with it. Seattle Children’s Hospital has helped many parents learn how to handle crying babies and wants to share information and helpful tips with caregivers on Facebook. The hospital is hosting a Live Chat titled “Oh Baby: Understanding Why Infants Cry and Tips for Coping” on its Facebook page on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. PT. Parents, grandparents, childcare providers and all those who cares for an infant are encouraged to join the chat, which will focus on:

  • What’s a “normal” amount of infant crying?
  • Tips for parents and caregivers on how to handle infant crying.
  • How family, friends and the public can support those caring for crying babies.

An experienced panel of experts will guide the discussion and answer your questions. The panel members are:

  • Kenneth Feldman, MD, pediatrician, and Medical Director of Seattle Children’s Protection Program
  • Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, Division Chief of General Pediatrics at Seattle Children’s
  • Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBe, pediatrician, and author of Seattle Children’s Seattle Mama Doc Blog
  • Ronald Barr, MA, MDCM, professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia and developer of the Period of PURPLE Crying program

Learning how to cope with—and help others—with infant crying is more important than you may think. Infant crying is a known trigger for Shaken Baby Syndrome, a term used to describe the very dangerous action of violently shaking infants that can lead to fatal consequences. Dr. Feldman co-published a recent study that showed there has been a 50% increase in cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma since 2007. During Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, Seattle Children’s wants to dispel common misperceptions about crying babies in hopes that education and helpful tips can reduce parent’s frustration and cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Please join us Wednesday night at http://www.facebook.com/seattlechildrens and encourage others to participate in the conversation to help spread accurate, helpful information about crying babies.

If you’d like to interview any of the experts on the panel, please contact the Seattle Children’s PR team at 206-987-4500 or press@seattlechildrens.org.