What is PURPLE crying?
It’s perfectly normal for healthy babies to cry a lot in their first five months of life. Crying usually begins at two weeks of age and increases in the first few months, with most babies reaching their peak of crying at two months. Each baby is different, so some babies cry for one to two hours a day and others can cry up to five hours a day. We call this peak in crying the “Period of PURPLE Crying.”
The letters in PURPLE stand for:
Peak of crying. Your baby may cry more each week, the most in month 2, then less in months 3–5.
Unexpected. Crying can come and go, and you don’t know why.
Resists soothing. Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try.
Pain-like face. A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not.
Long-lasting. Crying can last as much as 5 hours a day, or more.
Evening. Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening
How to soothe your baby
Crying can be frustrating for all caregivers. You can help soothe your baby by holding them close and giving them skin-to-skin contact, walking and singing to them, giving them a warm bath, or even taking them outside for a walk. It’s also helpful to check and see if your baby is hungry, tired, or needs to be changed.
It’s okay to feel frustrated
It is important to know that soothing won’t always stop your baby’s crying during this cycle, so if you are feeling frustrated, it’s okay to put your baby down in a safe place and walk away momentarily before returning to check on you baby. You can also reach out to a trusted family member or friend for additional support and help. It’s important to take care of yourself as you journey into parenthood and lean on your support network. You never want to get to the point where you or your baby are unsafe.
Caring for a baby is one of the hardest jobs. If you are worried something is wrong with your baby, please check with your doctor and remember that it’s okay to ask for help and utilize community resources, such as our Family Connects program, which is a free postpartum home visiting program available to any family who gives birth in Peoria County. You can reach out by emailing [email protected] or [email protected].