Happiest Baby on the Block: A Descriptive Study

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Dr. Nancy Barnum, Hope College

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Crying is very common among infants, but should not last for extended periods of time. Inconsolable crying is very stressful for parents, and is one of the leading causes of shaken baby syndrome and other child abuse. The purpose of this study it to evaluate the efficacy of The Happiest Baby (THB) program to help reduce parent stress and inconsolable infant crying through the use of calming strategies. The nursing framework that shaped this study was Kolcaba’s comfort theory. Her theory focuses on the importance of nursing interventions to enhance comfort in patients of all ages in order to produce better overall outcomes. This study is a retrospective descriptive study of parental response to THB nursing interventions. The convenience sample size is 25 babies and their parents who have been referred for a fussy baby consultation in the clinical setting. Parents rate their infant’s fussiness, as well as their confidence in consoling their infants and their ability to cope with inconsolable crying. Results and conclusions for this study are pending. The use of one agency for this project, and the lack of time allotted for educating the staff at the clinic about this project are limitations of this study thus far. More research is needed to assess the effectiveness of calming techniques and the change in length and frequency of the infant’s crying following implementation of these interventions. Findings from this study could create an educational program that could allow RNs to educate parents how to console their infants.

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