The CALM Baby Method: New book aims to help parents with fussy babies
Raising a child can often feel like a guessing game, especially when it comes to infants who aren't able to communicate what they need or want.
After years of helping thousands of frustrated parents understand and console their fussy babies, Patti Ideran, OTR/L, CEIM, pediatric occupational therapist and Mark H. Fishbein, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist, have put their expertise on paper to help both parents and pediatricians better understand the complexities of colic and the many factors that contribute to it.
In their new book, "The CALM Baby Method: Solutions for Fussy Days and Sleepless Nights," Ideran and Dr. Fishbein break down intervention strategies in a clean and easy way for distraught parents to understand. The book offers guidance on colic, overstimulation, sleep practices, and feeding challenges commonly seen in infants.
"Colic is generally something that kids outgrow, but that could take months," said Dr. Fishbein. "We wrote this book because we've seen and heard thousands of parents in desperate need of help, and they need that help immediately."
For Ideran, her interest in helping exasperated moms and dads came from her own experience with her second baby.
"I was a pediatric occupational therapist working with all ages of children," she said. "After I had my fussy baby I felt there was something we needed to do to help moms, so I started researching and I met Dr. Fishbein. We worked together to figure out how to help these babies and their families."
The CALM Baby Method has three areas of focus:
• Cues: Babies communicate through their behaviors, or cues. Fussy babies often do not give clear cues, making it difficult to understand what they want. The book explains how to better read a baby's cues to decrease stress and improve confidence as a parent.
• Arousal levels: This describes how alert or how sleepy a baby can be at different times, and how recognizing states of alertness can affect how you care for your baby.
• Massage: Babies today are often in bouncy seats, swings or carriers and held and touched less than babies of previous generation. The book incorporates different techniques that help with motor development and bonding between baby and parent.
Colic is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to fussy babies, and that's why the book also talks about feeding challenges and the importance of sleep and safe sleep practices. Ideran and Dr. Fishbein know that while bringing home a new baby can be exciting, it can also be emotionally draining. For that reason, they've also included an important chapter on postpartum depression and mood disorders. "The CALM Baby Method: Solutions for Fussy Days and Sleepless Nights," published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is available for preorder now on Amazon. The book will be released on April 20.
Parents interested in an evaluation with Ideran should obtain a prescription for an occupational therapy evaluation from their primary care provider. More information can be found at www.nm.org/conditions-and-care-areas/rehabilitation-services/pediatric-therapy.
For more information about the pediatric feeding clinic at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, visit www.nm.org/conditions-and-care-areas/pediatrics/pediatric-infant-and-newborn-care/pediatric-feeding-clinic.
For more information about Northwestern Medicine, visit news.nm.org.