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all babies cry

all babies cry: tried and true tips for comforting your newborn (and yourself)

All Babies Cry in a new, evidence-based media program designed to help prevent child abuse during the first year of life - when the highest proportion of incidents occur.

Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and produced in partnership with the state of Massachusetts, All Babies Cry is the product of two years of NIH sponsored research by award winning health educators at Vida Health Health Communications, Inc. and other experts in maternal/child health, fathering, infant development, pediatric abusive head trauma and violence prevention.

Incorporating the protective factors of the "Strengthening Families" framework and other outcomes based research, All Babies Cry empowers new mothers and fathers with practical demonstrations of infant soothing and clear strategies for managing normal stress in parenting.

The All Babies Cry media documents real parents over the first six months of their infants' lives. The visual style incorporates certain elements of "reality TV" and creates and "on-screen community" of real parents.

The program content, style and format were determined from fathers-only and mothers-only focus group results. Contributing content experts/reviewers came from the fields of: parent education, infant behavior and development, fatherhood, pediatrics, maternity nursing, public health, injury prevention, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, cultural competency and more.

Program components include:

  • 11-minute video program for hospital closed-circuit TV systems
  • Media for families to access at home or on mobile platforms
  • 28-page booklet with checklists and activities
  • Customizable website for online video streaming
  • Customizable supporting materials (postcard, poster)

The Children's Trust provides partners with monthly reports on video views. All materials are in English and Spanish.

For more information, please contact Aimee Arvan, All Babies Cry Program Manager.

The problem:

  • Abusive head trauma (previously called Shaken Baby Syndrome) is the leading cause of physical child abuse deaths in the United States. 1
  • Approximately 20% of abusive head trauma are fatal. The case fatality rate for abusive head trauma has been estimated to exceed 20%, with significant disability for nearly two-thirds of the survivors. 2
  • In 67% of confessions, crying was the circumstance that triggered the abuse. 3
  • Most known perpetrators (71.2%) are male. 4 

Why All Babies Cry?

  • 70% of all visuals in the All Babies Cry media are of fathers comforting and caring for the infant. Fathers are depicted on-screen as equal primary caregivers, demonstrating most infant care and stress management strategies.
  • 61% of parents who watched All Babies Cry did something different to comfort their infant. The content makes emphasis on identifying and mitigating parental stress during infancy.
  • Strengthening Families is a new public health model developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy designed to prevent child abuse and neglect. This model has been adopted nationally by child welfare organizations, over 60% of the states, and federal partners.
  • The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration approved All Babies Cry as an effective intervention to be included in their National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices

 

Sources:

1 Parks SE, Sugarman D, Xu L, Coronado V. (2012). Characteristics of non-fatal abusive head trauma among children in the USA, 2003--2008: Application of the CDC operational case definition to national hospital inpatient data. Injury Prevention 2012; 18(6):392-8.

2 Parks, S. H., Annest, J. L., Hill, H. A., & Karch, D. L. (2012). Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma: Recommended Definitions for Public Health Surveillance and Research. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control - Division of Violence Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/pedheadtrauma-a.pdf 

3 Flaherty, Emalee G.(2006). Analysis of Caretaker Histories in Abuse: Comparing Initial Histories with Subsequent Confessions. Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v30 n7 p789-798 Jul 2006

4 Schnitzer PG, Ewigman BG. (2005). Child deaths resulting from inflicted injuries: household risk factors and perpetrator characteristics. Pediatrics. 2005 Nov;116(5):e687-93.