New parents want and expect a wonderful, mostly smiling, responsive baby!
New parents have wonderful and not so wonderful experiences with their new infants, but crying has got to be one of the most challenging. There are a couple of basic reasons why this is so. First, new parents want and expect a wonderful, mostly smiling, responsive baby. But when the baby cries for five hours, the crying is unsoothable and nothing the parents do seems to help, the disappointment can be profound. Second, many parents do not know that there is a very typical and completely normal set of features of crying that all infants do in the first weeks and months of life. These are the features that are described as the Period of PURPLE Crying.
Understanding these features should help parents know that, even when their infant is crying like this, they still have a wonderful, normal baby who, with a little help from their parents, will turn out to be a wonderful child later. The crying can be frustrating, but your baby can still be a completely normal child.
What is 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. It is confusing and concerning to be told your baby "has colic" because it sounds like it is an illness or a condition that is abnormal. When the baby is given medication to treat symptoms of colic, it reinforces the idea that there is something wrong with the baby, when in fact, the baby is going through a very normal developmental phase. That is why we prefer to refer to this time as the Period of PURPLE Crying. This is not because the baby turns purple while crying. The acronym is a meaningful and memorable way to describe what parents and their babies are going through.
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?"
Find out more at: www.purplecrying.info