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J Child Health Care. 2009 Jun;13(2):161-76. doi: 10.1177/1367493509102476.

Health care interventions for excessive crying in infants: regularity with and without swaddling.

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Maternal and Child Health Care Nurse, Health Care Centre Therapeuticum Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.


This article describes two health care interventions developed to support parents whose infant cries excessively. Intervention 1 consists of advice to caregivers to bring about regularity and uniformity in daily infant care and to reduce external stimuli. Intervention 2 is the same advice accompanied by instructions to swaddle during sleep. Nurses can teach parents these interventions easily. The goal is to help infants to establish a stable sleep-wake rhythm, for overtiredness to disappear and excessive crying to stop. The approach is based on offering predictability, which helps to develop infant self-regulating ability. If the intervention succeeds, which is often the case, the baby cries less, drinks adequately, is able to fall asleep on their own and to sleep sufficiently, and therefore is no longer overtired. Parental stress is reduced, which could translate into an improvement in family health and quality of interaction between the parents and the child.

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