October 13th, 2011

Period of PURPLE Crying: What I wish I had 9 years ago

There is plenty of research showing that the sound of a baby crying is about the most aggravating noise possible to people – and for good biological reason so that baby has someone’s attention! Society can swing between totally unsupportive and united in solidarity with parents trying to help soothe crying babies, as was the Oregon case of a mom & crying baby being ordered off a bus by the driver shortly followed by every other passenger.

A public awareness campaign called the Period of PURPLE Crying (purplecrying.info) has been developed by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) that focuses on the normal developmental stage all babies go through between when they are several weeks old to 5 months or so where they simply cry for no apparent reason and nothing you do seems to help.

This is about the most unpredictable, heartwrenching, and frustrating experience possible with a new baby, and add several months of being sleep deprived on top of that and it’s easy for mom and dad to join in the meltdowns too. The term ‘having colic’ can imply to parents living on the edge already that their baby is sick or has a medical condition, making them feel even worse instead of helping them realize this is part of normal child development.

The website includes an online magazine, videos, and supportive plain language resources and has been translated into 10 languages with closed captioning for the hearing impaired. I love their Facebook page showing pictures of all the purple knitted baby hats to raise awareness of the campaign – perfect and much better than the standard pink/blue hats! A DVD and booklets are supposedly available for health care providers to teach about the program and answer parents’ questions, although I’m having trouble finding where they can request them from the website.

Posted at 08 28 AM | 2 Comments » | print this post

2 Responses to “Period of PURPLE Crying: What I wish I had 9 years ago”

  1. Amy Wicks says:

    Hi Nikki. Thanks for helping share the message aboput the Period of PURPLE Crying. The link to information for healthcare providers wishing to obtain more information about implementation of the Period of PURPLE Crying program or to preview the materials can be found at:

    If you have any questions, please contact us.

  2. Michelle says:

    Ugh I remember those times. Thankfully Rachel so far is not much of a crier, even while teething. But my oldest was. I can remember checking him for everything (diaper, food, sleep) and trying to sooth him and there were just times he just wanted to cry and nothing would help. I remember a few times just putting him in his crib (so he was safe) and turning on the radio and hopping into the bathroom for a long shower to destress and not hear the crying. Sometimes I would emerge and he would be asleep or not crying, other times he would still be crying.
    Rides in the car would also help him. The vibration and the drone of the car did it. But it couldn’t be stop in go city/suburb traffic. I had to get on the highway for him to quiet down.

Leave a Reply