Period of Purple® Crying

Is My Baby Going Through the Period of PURPLE® Crying?

The Period of PURPLE Crying® is the phrase used to describe the time in a baby’s life when they cry more than any other time.

Buena Vista Regional Medical Center participates in the Period of PURPLE Crying® program and provides new parents with evidence-based education and resources to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The program helps parents, grandparents and caregivers understand that all babies cry, just some do way more than others, but it is still normal. It offers hope as the Period of PURPLE Crying® is usually over by 5 months of age and there is information on ways to cope with the crying.

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a term used to describe a collection of signs and symptoms resulting from the violent shaking or slamming of an infant or young child. SBS is by far the leading cause of young child homicides. Long crying episodes are cited as the number one trigger in cases of SBS. The acronym PURPLE describes specific characteristics of an infant’s crying and lets parents and caregivers know that what they are experiencing is simply a phase in their child’s development that will pass.

P – Peak of crying: Your baby may cry more each week; the most at 2 months, then less at 4 to 5 months.

U – Unexpected: Crying can come and go and you don’t know why.

R – Resists soothing: Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you do.

P – Pain-like face: A crying baby may look like they’re in pain, even though they’re not.

L – Long lasting: Crying can last as much as five hours a day or more.

E – Evening: Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening.

Action steps you can follow when your infant cries, include:

  • Carry, comfort, walk and talk with your baby.
  • If it’s too frustrating it is okay to walk away. Put the baby in a safe place and take a few minutes to calm yourself; then go back and check on the baby.
  • Never shake or hurt a baby – call for help if you are still frustrated.

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