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ICON is a programme adopted by health and social care organisations in the UK to provide information about infant crying, including how to cope, support for parents/carers, how to reduce stress and prevent abusive head trauma in babies.

The evidence-based programme consists of a series of brief interventions that reinforce the simple message making up the ICON acronym:

I - Infant crying is normal and it will stop

C - Comfort methods can sometimes soothe the baby and the crying will stop

O - It’s OK to walk away for a few minutes if you have checked the baby is safe and the crying is getting to you

N - Never ever shake or hurt a baby


It’s normal for babies to cry but it can be stressful and sometimes it’s hard to cope. Most babies start to cry more frequently from two weeks of age, with a peak usually being seen around 6-8 weeks. 


Never Shake a Baby - Home From Work


Never Ever Shake a Baby - Morning at Home



How can I soothe my baby?

There are lots of things you can do to help soothe your baby. Check out these top five tips to help with infant crying:

  1. Talk calmly, hum or sing to your baby
  2. Let them hear a repeating or soothing sound
  3. Hold them close, skin to skin
  4. Go for a walk outside with your baby
  5. Give them a warm bath

The main thing to remember is to stay calm and never hurt or shake your baby. 


What help is available to me?

Speak to someone if you need support, such as your family and friends. If you are struggling and need help and advice, please contact your midwife, health visitor or GP.


Helpful resources

A number of resources for parents and carers of babies can be found below:

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