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Parenting Tip of the Month

Click here to view our April Parent Tip, "The Period of PURPLE Crying," or see below.

Parents of newborns look forward to bringing their new baby home and bonding with them. They know that much of their time will be spent feeding, holding, and comforting their little one. Parents also expect their infant to cry as a way to communicate their needs. Babies cry for many reasons. They may be hungry, have a dirty diaper, sleepy, overstimulated, too warm or cold, need to burp, want attention, or in pain. 
Many times, parents can figure out their baby’s need and bring comfort to them by:
  • Offering a pacifier
  • Singing
  • Holding and rocking
  • Providing skin to skin contact
  • Warm bath
  • Going outdoors for a walk or stroller ride
  • Turning on a fan or vacuum to create white noise
  • Car ride
There are other times when the crying can go on for a long period of time and everything the parent has tried to comfort the baby does not work. During these times, hearing the baby cry can cause feelings of helplessness, frustration, or even anger. If your baby is over 2 weeks old and is under 6 months of age, you may be experiencing the Period of PURPLE Crying.
This refers to a time when your baby begins to cry more and may be more difficult to console. See the image below to learn what the letters in PURPLE stand for:

Around 2 weeks of age, you may notice a pattern developing with your baby crying more. This increased crying is part of normal development for all infants and will peak at 2–2 ½ months of age and decrease around 3-5 months of age. The length of crying will vary with some babies crying only 30 minutes and others crying up to 5 hours. During these times of inconsolable crying, it is easy to understand why parents and caregivers would become frustrated and overwhelmed. Unfortunately, some parents and caregivers may respond to their frustration by shaking the baby. When this happens, the baby can suffer head trauma which may lead to long-term disabilities or death.
When you feel angry or frustrated, it is important to take a break. Place the baby on their back in a safe area like their crib and walk away. Take some time to calm down by talking to someone, listening to music, or getting some fresh air. Make sure to be near and check on your baby every 5-10 minutes.
It is important to remember that this period of crying will end and to never shake your baby.
To rule out an underlying health condition or problem that may be causing your baby’s persistent cries, consult your baby’s doctor.

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For more information, click here for an informative video and other resources on the Period of PURPLE Crying:
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