The first cry of your baby right after the birth surely warmed your soul. Because that was the first noises you heard your child make. But after a few weeks, the crying might not be as heartening as it were at first. To be honest, it may be absolute tough to tolerate some of those days and you could be wondering if the continuous crying and screaming are normal—or even healthy.
Don’t worry! Your infant is most probably perfectly well. But the problem is, the crying may get worse day by day.
A developmental pediatrician named Dr. Ronald Barr, who has possibly done more research on infant crying than any other pediatrician in the world, invented the phrase the Period of PURPLE Crying. His intention was to describe this phase to parents of new babies to create awareness among them, so they would understand that it was perfectly normal, and they should learn to have the patience that its period would come to an end soon.
What Does PURPLE Stand For?
The reason for this name is not because some babies skin tone turned into purple due to excessive walking. Basically, PURPLE is an acronym that was created to help parents better understand this period of their life where offspring cry day and night so much that it makes moms and dads tremendously exhausted. The letters stand for:
- A peak of crying. Your baby may cry each week, the most in month 2 as we already said, and less in month 3-5.
- Unexpected. Crying may start and finish, and you don’t know why.
- Resists soothing. Your infant may not stop crying no matter what and how much you try.
- Pain-like face. A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are actually not.
- Long lasting. The crying can last as much as 5 hours a day, or even more.
- Evening. Your baby may cry more frequently in the late afternoon and evening.
The Purple Program
When your baby is around two months of age, he/she start crying so often and regularly that specialists have termed this phase as the Period of PURPLE Crying and designed a special program to address this situation. You will be relaxed to know that, the word “period” means the crying has a beginning and an end and being able to understand what this PURPLE program is all about, it will help you and your baby to get through your teary time.
When specialists observed how much babies cry in their first months of life, they noticed that highest level of crying connected with the increased occurrences of the shaken baby syndrome (SBS), brain injury and head trauma caused by shaking an infant by force. Doctors believe the reason for this relationship is some parents are unable to manage the never-ending crying and shake their babies deliberately to make them stop crying. Unfortunately, the difficulties associated with SBS can be deadly.
Some initial studies illustrate the application of the program has decreased SBS-related hospitalizations, and one survey shows that 91 % of parents admit that the PURPLE program helped them feel less frustrated when their little one was in crying action.
The Period of PURPLE Crying
The Period of PURPLE Crying starts at approximately two weeks (for some baby its two months though) of age and lasts for about the next 3-4 months. There are some other characteristics of this period, which are more clearly stated by the acronym PURPLE above. Almost all babies experience this period. All the baby cries, some a bit more and some a bit less, but they all go through the Purple crying period during the first few months of their life.
Why Do Babies Cry So Much at the PURPLE period?
Pediatricians actually don’t have any clear clue about why crying of your baby increases in this period, but a recent study suggests that human-baby aren’t the only ones that experience Purple Crying. Other mammal sobs, mewl and whine too more during the first month since they are born, according to Adam Zolotor, MD, an associate professor of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina.
But what child specialists do know is the increased crying is not abnormal during this period of life. If the crying seems seriously excessive or if you can sense something more serious regarding the issue, consult a doctor immediately.
Dr. Zolotor says, “Babies have a limited way of communicating, and crying is a way to let us know something’s wrong, whether the child has a fever, is constipated or has an intolerance to formula.”
What You Should You do to Calm Your Screaming Baby?
Though we have already said that all of your attempt to clam down your baby will go in vain, but you can still try out some of the following techniques for the peace of your mind.
Not All the Cries Are PURPLE
Don’t think all the cries during this period is unnecessary. Look for the reason why your baby is crying, is you can not find any visible clue, then you might assure yourself it’s a PURPLE crying.
Understand Their Feelings
Your baby might want your extra attention when he/she might feel uncomfortable with the situation or the place they are in. Try to change these and see if that make their crying stop.
Wrap the baby
Get a big and thin blanket to wrap up your infant firmly. You can seek help from a nurse or your pediatrician to demonstrate this. They will show how to swaddle appropriately if you’re not sure about it.
Grab your baby so that she’s on her left side. And softly rub her back to help her digest the food.
Remind Her About Her Past
Embrace your baby in your arms and start walking slowly and sit or stand as you are making these soothing motions. Which may remind him/her of how they felt in the womb.
Try A Pacifier
The roleplay of sucking may help soothe many babies.
Let Your Baby Chill Out
When crying, give your baby something amusing for him/her. If S/he can start playing with it, that may make him/her forget about crying.
Distract Their Attention
Take benefit of their short attention span by diverting their concern. You can use toys, treats and other perks that may restrain him from the crying.
Keep Your Baby Busy
Sometimes boredom can prompt a crying baby. To avoid this, keep her busy with something interesting for him/her. You may find that your baby has no time for crying!
Play with them
If you really can do it, try joining him/her for the gaming. Spend some quality time with your infant.
Calming sounds, like white noise machines or the hum of a fan, may calm your crying babies.
If all these techniques don’t work, don’t be panicked. According to the PURPLE program, about 10 % of the time there’s nothing that can be done to stop the baby’s crying. And that’s completely okay. Nothing to worry about. But if your infant cries some extended amount of time, that can leave her brain damaged. So, if she screams for more than 5 hours, consult a doctor as practically as possible.
It is puzzling and concerning to describe your crying baby “has colic.” It sounds like it is a disease or a condition that is abnormal. So, when given the medication to treat symptoms of colic the baby is given, it supports the idea that there is something seriously wrong with the baby. Even when the child is going through absolutely a normal growing stage.
If you’re watching the baby on your own, you don’t need to shake your baby at all. Or you should not feel guilty about walking away from her either. Keep your newborn in a safe and comfortable place and go into the next room until you’ve calmed yourself down. Don’t forget that while the crying may look limitless now, there is a light at the end of this tear-filled tunnel. And your baby will get over of this crying stage soon.