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Excessive infant crying: a controlled study of mothers helping mothers.
Pediatrics 1994; 94(3):322-32Ped

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the efficacy of behavioral management counseling in the treatment of persistent, excessive infant crying (> 3 hours per day).

DESIGN

Two treatments, one no treatment control group. Infants were group-matched according to baseline fuss/cry levels, sociodemographic, and infant variables. Treatments were carried out sequentially by the same counselors.

SETTING

Telephone counseling by volunteers (mothers) of CRY-SIS, a national support group for the parents of crying infants.

PATIENTS AND INTERVENTIONS

Sequential sample of 27 mother-infant pairs receiving treatment 1 (Tr1, empathy: talking through the problem), 21 receiving treatment 2 (Tr2, behavioral management: specific care taking suggestions) and 44 receiving no treatment (C, controls). Infants were between 1 to 5 months of age.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS

Mother-infant pairs had a pretreatment baseline assessment and a posttreatment follow-up (3 months after baseline) using 1-week diaries. Total fuss/cry duration reduced significantly more in the behavioral management group (by 51%) than the empathy group (37%) or the control group (35%). This was mainly due to significantly reduced evening fussing/crying in Tr2 (67%) compared with Tr1 (45%) and C (42%). No differences in total number of fuss/cry bouts/day were found. However, the number of fuss/cry bouts reduced significantly more in the evening in Tr2 (by 55%) compared with Tr1 (27%) and C (32%). Behavioral management mothers evaluated the same counselors as more sympathetic, knowledgeable, and understanding. Tr2 was also perceived by mothers to have helped them more in reducing the crying problem, coping with the infant, and improving the relationship with their infant than Tr1. No effects of treatment on infant difficult temperament were found.

CONCLUSIONS

Behavioral management was more effective in reducing fussing/crying than spending time with the mother talking through the problem or just waiting for spontaneous remission. Treatment by suitably but briefly trained lay counselors is an inexpensive and successful treatment option.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Behavioural Science Unit, University of London Institute of Child Health, UK.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Clinical Trial
Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

8065857

Citation

Wolke, D, et al. "Excessive Infant Crying: a Controlled Study of Mothers Helping Mothers." Pediatrics, vol. 94, no. 3, 1994, pp. 322-32.
Wolke D, Gray P, Meyer R. Excessive infant crying: a controlled study of mothers helping mothers. Pediatrics. 1994;94(3):322-32.
Wolke, D., Gray, P., & Meyer, R. (1994). Excessive infant crying: a controlled study of mothers helping mothers. Pediatrics, 94(3), pp. 322-32.
Wolke D, Gray P, Meyer R. Excessive Infant Crying: a Controlled Study of Mothers Helping Mothers. Pediatrics. 1994;94(3):322-32. PubMed PMID: 8065857.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Excessive infant crying: a controlled study of mothers helping mothers. AU - Wolke,D, AU - Gray,P, AU - Meyer,R, PY - 1994/9/1/pubmed PY - 1994/9/1/medline PY - 1994/9/1/entrez SP - 322 EP - 32 JF - Pediatrics JO - Pediatrics VL - 94 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of behavioral management counseling in the treatment of persistent, excessive infant crying (> 3 hours per day). DESIGN: Two treatments, one no treatment control group. Infants were group-matched according to baseline fuss/cry levels, sociodemographic, and infant variables. Treatments were carried out sequentially by the same counselors. SETTING: Telephone counseling by volunteers (mothers) of CRY-SIS, a national support group for the parents of crying infants. PATIENTS AND INTERVENTIONS: Sequential sample of 27 mother-infant pairs receiving treatment 1 (Tr1, empathy: talking through the problem), 21 receiving treatment 2 (Tr2, behavioral management: specific care taking suggestions) and 44 receiving no treatment (C, controls). Infants were between 1 to 5 months of age. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Mother-infant pairs had a pretreatment baseline assessment and a posttreatment follow-up (3 months after baseline) using 1-week diaries. Total fuss/cry duration reduced significantly more in the behavioral management group (by 51%) than the empathy group (37%) or the control group (35%). This was mainly due to significantly reduced evening fussing/crying in Tr2 (67%) compared with Tr1 (45%) and C (42%). No differences in total number of fuss/cry bouts/day were found. However, the number of fuss/cry bouts reduced significantly more in the evening in Tr2 (by 55%) compared with Tr1 (27%) and C (32%). Behavioral management mothers evaluated the same counselors as more sympathetic, knowledgeable, and understanding. Tr2 was also perceived by mothers to have helped them more in reducing the crying problem, coping with the infant, and improving the relationship with their infant than Tr1. No effects of treatment on infant difficult temperament were found. CONCLUSIONS: Behavioral management was more effective in reducing fussing/crying than spending time with the mother talking through the problem or just waiting for spontaneous remission. Treatment by suitably but briefly trained lay counselors is an inexpensive and successful treatment option. SN - 0031-4005 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/8065857/Excessive_infant_crying:_a_controlled_study_of_mothers_helping_mothers_ L2 - http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=8065857 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -