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The Period of Purple Crying

Covenant Cares

At Covenant Women’s and Children’s, we strive to increase awareness and education for new parents on caring for their newborn. The Period of Purple Crying DVD is an educational DVD, that explains that increased crying may be normal and provide parents with ways to sooth their baby. It also explains to parents of babies the importance of walking away for a little while if their baby is excessively crying to calm down. The video stresses to never shake your baby. Our patients watch this DVD while in the hospital and later take it home to share with family that may also help take care of the baby.

The Period of Purple Crying

The Period of PURPLE Crying is a new way to help parents understand this time in their baby's life, which is a normal part of every infant's development.

The Period of PURPLE Crying begins at about 2 weeks of age and continues until about 3-4 months of age. There are other common characteristics of this phase, or period, which are better described by the acronym PURPLE. All babies go through this period. It is during this time that some babies can cry a lot and some far less, but they all go through it.

When these babies are going through this period they seem to resist soothing. Nothing helps. Even though certain soothing methods may help when they are simply fussy or crying, bouts of inconsolable crying are different. Nothing seems to soothe them.

During this phase of a baby's life they can cry for hours and still be healthy and normal. Parents often think there must be something wrong or they would not be crying like this. However, even after a check-up from the doctor which shows the baby is healthy they still go home and cry for hours, night after night. "It was so discouraging," said one dad. "Our baby giggles and seems fine during the day and almost like clockwork, he starts crying around 6 pm. He is growing and healthy, so why does he cry like this?"

Often parents say their baby looks like he or she is in pain. They think they must be, or why would they cry so much. Babies who are going through this period can act like they are in pain even when they are not.

Dr. Ronald Barr, a developmental pediatrician who has likely done more studies on infant crying than anyone in the world, came up with the phrase the Period of PURPLE Crying. His idea was to explain this phase to parents of new babies so they would know it was normal and they would be encouraged that it would come to an end.

The acronym PURPLE is used to describe specific characteristics of an infant's crying during this phase and let parents and caregivers know that what they are experiencing is indeed normal and, although frustrating, is simply a phase in their child's development that will pass. The word Period is important because it tells parents that it is only temporary and will come to an end.

For more information about The Period of Purple Crying, go to: http://www.purplecrying.info/

The Period of Purple Crying and Child Abuse

According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

The National Center has a mission: "To educate and train parents and professionals, and to conduct research that will prevent the shaking and abuse of infants in the United States". Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is the leading cause of death in abusive head trauma (AHT) cases. An estimated 1,200 to 1,400 children are injured or killed by shaking every year in the United States. Actual numbers may be much higher as many likely go undetected. Over 300 babies a year die from being shaken in the United States.

For more information on Shaken Baby Syndrome and Infant Head Trauma, go to:

www.dontshake.org

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/5/1409.full.pdf

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