Frustration with crying infants and how PURPLE can help

Purple hats
Have you ever seen purple baby beanies in the hospital? They are part of the Click for Babies campaign — named after the clicking sound that knitting needles make as volunteers handcraft baby hats.

This initiative strives to raise awareness for the Period of PURPLE Crying, when a baby will cry more than any other time in their life.

PURPLE stands for:

Peak of crying. The time when babies cry the most (usually around two months old).

Unexpected or unpredictable. Crying can come and go for no apparent reason.

Resistant to soothing. Babies may cry regardless of your efforts.

Pain-like face. Babies may look like they are in pain when they are not.

Long-lasting. Crying sessions may last for hours.

Evening crying. Babies may cry more in late afternoon and evening.

You aren’t alone

The Period of PURPLE Crying affects babies differently, but all babies will go through it in early infancy. Advocates want parents to better understand this phase in their babies’ lives so they will know what to expect.

Long bouts of crying, from days to weeks, can be incredibly stressful, frustrating and overwhelming. Parents often believe the crying is their fault as caregivers or that their baby has an illness or abnormal condition. But these concerns are not the case. And the crying doesn’t last forever. For most babies, it tapers off around three or four months of age.

Unfortunately, misunderstandings about Period of PURPLE Crying can end in tragedy. Frustration with a crying infant is the top trigger for a caregiver to shake or harm a baby. About 30 out of every 100,000 babies suffer from shaken baby syndrome each year in the United States — and is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases.

What you can do

If you have increased concerns about your baby’s crying, take them to a doctor or health care provider. If you find your frustration reaching the breaking point, put your baby down in a safe place and take a few deep breaths. Remind yourself that this crying phase is temporary and normal, and it isn’t harming your baby. Other helpful online resources for parents include clickforbabies.org, dontshake.org and purplecrying.info.

When you see purple this fall, remember the Period of PURPLE Crying — and stand in solidarity with parents and volunteers raising awareness with hopes of ultimately protecting more babies.

Categories:
  • Mental health
  • Women's health
  • Pregnancy and childbirth

Be the first to know! To see more locally produced stories about Salem Health, the health care industry and wellness in our region, sign up for our e-newsletter here.