Have you ever heard of “the Period of PURPLE Crying”? It’s actually a new way to understand your baby’s crying.
What is the Period of PURPLE crying?
The Period of PURPLE Crying is a national education program that teaches families about a normal, developmental phase of increased crying that all babies go through. This education has been proven to help prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The “period” of time is limited and will end. This training helps families to cope during this time.
PURPLE stands for…
P: Peak of crying- starts about 2 weeks of age, peaks at 2 months of age, and decreases around 4-5 months of age
U: Unexpected crying- the baby may start crying for no apparent reason
R: Resists soothing-the baby may not stop crying no matter what you do to calm them
P: Pain-like face- the baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not
L: Long lasting –the baby may cry for up to 5 hours
E: Evening – the crying occurs most commonly in the evening
Do all babies go through the period of increased crying and is it normal?
Yes, all babies go through this period of increased crying. Healthy babies can cry from 20 minutes a day to 5 hours a day. This can be very frustrating, but the good news is that the crying does end and families can learn how to cope with it.
Why is this education important?
Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is 100% preventable. Crying is the number one reason parents or caregivers shake their babies. Shaking can cause serious, lifelong problems such as seizures, blindness, learning and physical disabilities, and even death. Be sure to tell everyone who cares for your baby about The Period of PURPLE Crying and t the dangers of shaking a baby.
What can parents and caregivers do to cope with the period of purple crying?
Try soothing techniques such as: give the baby a bath, go for a walk, talk or sing, use skin to skin contact, and check on basic needs (diaper change and feeding)
If the parent or caregiver is getting frustrated, take a break, put the baby in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes to calm down before trying again.
Ask for help from family and friends.
You can learn more about the “period of purple crying” at this Saturday’s ParentMap event called “Healthy Parent, Happy Baby.” It’s from 11 a-m to 3 p-m at the Cherry Hill campus of Swedish Medical Center. Best of all, it’s free to the public.