What You Need to Know About PURPLE Crying
The Period of PURPLE Crying is a new method to help parents understand this phase of their baby’s life.
The acronym PURPLE is a meaningful and easier way to describe what parents and their babies are going through.
What is PURPLE Crying?
The Period of PURPLE Crying starts at about 2 weeks after having a baby and continues until about 3-4 months of age.
It is during this time that some babies can cry a lot and some can cry less, but they all go through it.
When these babies are going through this period, it seems that they resist soothing.
Parents usually think there must be something wrong, but during this time of a baby’s life, they can cry for hours and yet be healthy and normal.
Sometimes parents say their baby looks like heshe is in pain. Babies who are going through this period can behave like they are in pain even if they are not.
Dr. Ronald Barr, a developmental pediatrician, created the phrase the Period of PURPLE Crying.
His idea is to explain this phase to parents, who are having a baby, so they would know it is normal and they would be encouraged that it would come to an end.
What does PURPLE in the PURPLE Crying Period stand for?
It is used to describe particular characteristics of a baby’s crying during this phase and allow parents and caregivers
to know that what they are experiencing is completely normal and is simply a phase in their baby’s development that will pass.
The letters in PURPLE stand for shared characteristics of persistent crying:
P: a peak of crying, when your baby may cry more each week, peaking at about two months.
U: unexpected crying, when your baby may be inconsolable in the morning, but content in the afternoon. Crying comes and goes and you don’t even know why.
R: resists soothing, that is, your baby may not stop crying, no matter what you do to try to comfort himher.
P: pain-like face, which is your baby may look as if she’s in pain, even when shehe is not.
L: long-lasting, i.e. crying can last for several hours a day.
E: evening, in other words, your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening.
What Does ‘Colic’ Mean? And Is It Related to PURPLE Crying?
Many experts and parents believed that one of the main reasons for steady, inconsolable crying in a healthy baby was colic.
A colicky baby is considered a healthy baby that has constant crying for three hours straight, beginning before three weeks of age,
occurring at least three days a week, and ending around three months of age. So, it is another name for that period in babies’ life.
What is Shaken Baby Syndrome(SBS)?
Dr. Barr also shares information about PURPLE Crying with parents and caregivers for another crucial reason,
as an effort to draw attention to the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) and its relation with PURPLE Crying.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is used to describe a series of signs or symptoms that occur as a result of a baby being violently shaken.
Some of the symptoms of SBS may include neurologic damage, brain swelling, bruising, neck or spinal cord injury,
and damage to the eyes, this could lead to long-term damage and disabilities, or even death.
Of course, any information that could help explain baby’s behavior is welcomed by a new parent who is having a baby,
but Barr has a particular hope in spreading the word: to reduce cases of abusive head trauma, or what is commonly known as SBS.
Research shows that excessive crying is the most common trigger for SBS.
Why Is Shaking a Baby So Dangerous?
As we all know, adults are much bigger and stronger than babies, and babies have weak neck muscles and their brains are still developing.
If shaken, a baby’s brain bounces around inside the skull, which causes severe bleeding and swelling. In addition, shaking can cause blindness, brain damage, and death
Also, you can read Different reasons behind your newborn crying
12 Things You Can Do to Soothe Your Baby During The PURPLE Crying Period
It’s helpful to have tips and techniques to soothe your baby when you have a baby with endless cries.
Finding the right method that works for you may take time, so try to be patient,
and give these techniques a chance before moving to something else:
- Make sure there’s not an obvious reason for your baby’s crying, like a wet diaper that needs changing or hunger.
- Place your baby (with only a diaper on) directly on your chest can help to calm himher and ease any stress your baby may be experiencing.
- Swaddle your baby by wrapping your baby warmly in a blanket. It can often help a baby feel secure and safe.
- Try having the baby in arms while walking or swaying, and move with your baby.
- Give a warm bath to your baby.
- Get outdoors with your baby because sometimes a combination of a change of scenery and fresh air can help calm a baby when they are crying.
- Aid digestion by holding your baby so heshe is on the left side and gently rub the back to help himher digest the food.
- Use noise and calming sounds, such as white noise machines or the whir of a fan, that can soothe crying babies.
- Try a pacifier because the act of sucking could help soothe many babies.
- If you’re feeling frustrated (which is normal), set your baby down in a safe place and walk away, and Take this time to calm yourself down.
Try to reach out to your partner, family member, or a trusted caregiver for help.
- Consider talking with your doctor if you couldn’t soothe your baby to find out if an underlying problem is causing the persistent cries.
- Don’t panic. It is alright if you cannot have the baby to stop crying. Some babies are going to cry no matter what,
but the good news is that the period of PURPLE crying will end!
Also, you can read Why is my baby crying all the time?
Is It Normal to Feel Frustrated?
Even though having a baby at the Period of PURPLE Crying is normal and he is healthy, it can still be a frustrating time for you and your partner.
Having a baby that cries inconsolably for hours on end can be distressing,
so try to give each other as much support as you can and talk to friends or family about how you’re feeling.