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What you need to know about the PURPLE Crying campaign

It’s normal, and it will pass

What you need to know about the PURPLE Crying campaign

If you’ve recently made it through the 4th trimester (the months following the birth of your baby), you may be very aware of the Period of PURPLE Crying.


The concept of the PURPLE Crying Period was developed by Marilyn Barr, founder of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. It’s used to describe the period of time in a new baby’s life‚ usually between 2 weeks and 3-4 months old—when they may spend a great deal of time crying.

The PURPLE Crying Organization writes, “The acronym PURPLE is used to describe specific characteristics of an infant's crying during this phase and let parents and caregivers know that what they are experiencing is indeed normal and, although frustrating, is simply a phase in their child's development that will pass. The word Period is important because it tells parents that it is only temporary and will come to an end.”

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Here’s what PURPLE stand for:

P—Peak of crying

Baby cries more and more every week, peaking at around 2 months, and then gradually decreasing through 5 months.

U—Unexpected

Crying can start for unexpected and unknown reasons.

R—Resists soothing

Despite using all of your soothing tricks, your baby simply can’t stop crying.

P—Pain-like face

Baby’s facial expression will look like she is in pain, even when she is not.

L—Long-lasting

Period of crying lasts for a long time (sometimes as long ads 5-hours).

E—Evening

Crying periods tend to occur in the evening

Why it matters

The love we have for our babies can make us do amazing things—we reinvent ourselves and reconstruct our worlds around them. Watching our little baby cry inconsolably is truly heartbreaking. It’s also incredibly frustrating and stressful, especially when we are running in a state of total sleep deprivation.

It’s hard not to blame ourselves and feel guilty that we can’t fix it thinking, I must be doing something wrong.

It can also leads to shaken baby syndrome, where a parent or caregiver shakes a baby (usually under 6 months old) forcefully enough to cause brain injury. There are about 1,300 cases of the shaken baby syndrome a year in the Uniter States—25% of those result in death, and 80% of the survivors have lifelong disabilities.

It’s awful to think about. But the truth is that some of the most loving, well-intentioned caregivers get to a point in parenting where they are so fatigued, and so stressed that they are not able to think rationally—and accidents happen.

The PURPLE Crying Campaign seeks to educate parents about this very normal period in a baby’s young life, so that parents know it’s not their fault, and even more importantly that it is normal and a phase. In doing so, parents can feel confident knowing that they can get through this, and that they have support.

A study found that the PURPLE education campaign increased parental knowledge about crying and shaken baby syndrome.

What you need to know

Certainly, the most important takeaway is prevention.

Here’s what to do to keep your baby safe:

  • Learn about PURPLE crying and shaken baby syndrome
  • Speak to your pediatrician if your baby cries often and hard (or if you have any other concerns, of course)
  • Ensure that you are getting everything that you need—sleep, good nutrition and support
  • Make a plan for how you will respond if you start to feel incredibly stressed
  • If your baby is crying and you feel yourself getting frustrated or stressed, put him down in a safe place (like a crib that meets safety guidelines), and take a break. Walk away until you feel like you are able to resume caring for the baby safely.
  • Make sure you have support—consider reaching out to a mental health therapist or your health care providers if you are concerned about postpartum depression or anxiety.

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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