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.