PURPLE crying is an acronym used to explain the seemingly endless and inexplicable crying that some babies experience during the first few months.
It doesn’t mean the baby turns purple – it is simply a way of putting a name to this stressful period some babies go through.
Many new parents will become overwhelmed and frustrated when baby just won’t stop crying – and may fear that something is terribly wrong, even when a pediatrician has assured them the baby is perfectly healthy.
Excessive crying for no reason is also sometimes referred to as colic, but colic is more often characterized as a condition or a disorder when that’s not really the case with PURPLE crying.
You’ve likely heard the advice before, “Just wait it out! Babies just need to cry.” And that’s often true! When nothing seems to work to soothe your healthy baby, and you feel you’re at your wit’s end, remember PURPLE crying! Here’s what it stands for:
P: Peak of crying
This behavior usually begins around 2 weeks, peaks at 2 months, and continues but improves around months 3 through 5.
Crying may start and stop for no discernible reason.
R: Resists soothing
Baby is fed, swaddled, rocked, burped, and everything else you can think of and still keeps crying.
P: Pain-like face
This can be most concerning to parents — baby looks like they are in pain and may have a scrunched or very agitated expression on their face.
Crying can last up to 5 hours a day or more.
Crying often worsens around late afternoon or evening.
Rest assured that excessive, unprovoked crying is perfectly normal for babies! Almost all newborns will go through a period of PURPLE crying to some degree.
Of course, if you believe something is wrong, call your baby’s pediatrician. But when all else fails, you may just need to wait it out.
In the mean time, you’ll need to make sure you and/or your partner are taking care of yourselves.