An excessively crying baby exhausts the family
"Babies' inconsolable crying is hard for everyone. The first and most important thing is to make sure that the baby's basic needs have been taken care of. When medical reasons or allergies have been excluded, it is good to give the Happiest Baby calming method a try," Senior Lecturer Elina Botha says.
Elina encourages parents to learn to know their baby in order to recognise what the baby needs. One way babies communicate is crying, and they have much to tell their parents.
"Every baby is an individual and has a different temperament. The Happiest Baby method gives the baby what she needs," Botha says.
The method combines five soothing techniques. The techniques support one another and effectively and safely calm the crying baby. The method suits babies from the age of two weeks up to three months.
"Using the method correctly is a skill and time should be reserved for learning. Especially fathers appear to be grateful for the advice as it may offer them an important role in caring for the baby. At best, fathers may gain self-confidence for fatherhood and caring for the baby," Botha explains.
Passion to help parents drives forward
At TAMK Elina teaches for example maternity care and gynaecological nursing and students familiarise themselves with the baby calming method when learning basic care of infants. In fact, the idea of training health care professionals and parents came from the students.
"I thought that why not? I learnt the method 12 years ago, used it as a midwife, and saw that it works. It is now great to be able to help parents in my work as a midwifery lecturer."
The Happiest Baby method was developed by Paediatrician Harvey Karp and is widely used in the United States and Europe. Elina is the first certified educator in Finland. The Happiest Baby training was started at TAMK a couple of years ago. Elina is now writing her doctoral thesis on the topic. She wants to find out how the method affects parenthood.
Elina's conquest of Finland is well under way as she has already trained hundreds of professionals and parents. The training is organised every couple of months at TAMK and also elsewhere by request, for example in child health clinics and hospitals.
"During the training I first go through the theory in depth and then we practise together. Both parents and professionals train together. Everyone's personal experiences enrich the training," Elina specifies. "The training takes four hours. During it everyone learns the method and becomes able to soothe a crying baby, even in seconds."
Further information on the Happiest Baby training can be found on TAMK EDU's website
Elina's Yle interview in spring 2018
Senior Lecturer Elina Botha, elina.botha [at] tuni.fi
Text: Kukka-Maaria Korko
Photo: Heini Pääkkönen