The Period of Purple Crying
All babies cry – it’s their way of communicating. Their crying could mean they are hungry, need a diaper change, are cold and need to be swaddled, have gas (colic) and are uncomfortable, or they could be sick. But there is also a time in an infant’s life where you’ll see a period of increased crying during the first few months. This is said to be normal. Usually, the increased crying begins around two weeks of age, will escalate during the second month of life, and begins to taper off during the third and forth month. ALL infants cry more during this period of time and some infants cry more than others.
The letters in the word PURPLE, which PURPLE is an acronym used to help those caring for infants to recognize the characteristics of normal infant crying:
This Period of Purple Crying can often bring about frustration in parents and caregivers. And this frustration is the number one cause of shaking or abusing a baby. Shaking a baby can leave them with devastating brain damage and leave them with what is called the Shaken Baby Syndrome. Take the time to educate yourself on what the Period of Purple Crying is all about. Make sure caregivers understand what this period of crying is about. However, whenever in doubt, consult a physician.
There’s no excuse for abusing an innocent baby out of frustration – there’s always someone that can be called upon to help. Call 911 if you must. Call a friend. Call the hospital. Call relatives. Call a neighbor. Just never shake a baby! Never take the frustration felt out on the infant…you can damage them for life.