SPECIAL REPORT: Purple Crying

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Babies cry. We all know that, and we all know taking care of them is a lot of work. And it’s perfectly normal for parents to feel frustrated when the crying seems like it won’t stop.

The sound of a crying baby can be overwhelming, it makes sitting in silence a distant memory for new parents. It’s not the typical ‘your baby is coliky suggestion you may hear from a different generation.

Congratulations, you have now entered the period of purple crying.

The period of purple crying begins at about 2 weeks of age and continues until about 3-4 months.

Identified by the American Academy of Pediatrics… it’s a new way to help parents understand this time in their baby’s life, which is a normal part of every infant’s development.

“We just try to provide a lot of reassurance to our parents to let them know, this is normal and there is nothing wrong with your baby.”

Josh Lane is a pediatrician at Augusta Pediatrics Associates, who sees new babies and the new parents often. he says the first thing mom or dad wants to do when they hear their little one crying….pick him or her up but he says it’s okay not too.

“Sometimes you need a break or you haven’t slept and it’s stressing you out,” says Lane. “If the baby is fed and change and doesn’t have a fever then it’s fine to leave the baby and let the baby cry for a while and take a break.”

The acronym PURPLE is used to describe specific characteristics of an infant’s crying during this phase:

P-PEAK OF CRYING
U-UNEXPECTED
R-RESISTS SOOTHING
P-PAIN-LIKE FACE
L-LONG LASTING
E-EVENING

The word period means the crying has a beginning and an end.

“The hope is that we can educate families and give them the tools that they need to prevent the baby’s parents from getting frustrated and shaking a baby in the midst of that frustration,” says Kyndra Holm, Pediatric Trauma Manager at Augusta University.

Many parents may not know that the period of purple cry and shaken baby syndrome (a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant) play hand in hand with each other. Kyndra Holm says preparing the parents-to-be before the crying period starts is key.

“Hopefully they’ll be able to resort to and have that key in there mind that ‘that’s what they told me when I was having the baby and that this might happen’ and that it will pass, it’s not going to be forever, it’s a short period of time in the baby’s life.”

An infant crying is a normal developmental stage that research has shown is most likely to occur in the late afternoon and evenings… or what some parents say is the “dad shift”

“So dads can get the impressions that my baby doesn’t like me they always cry when I get home but that’s not really the case it’s just the normal development.”

While a crying baby may be one of the most frustrating things you are dealing with,just keep in mind that things could be worse.

“A one or two second lapse in judgement can be all it takes to change a baby’s and a parents life forever and we really want to prevent that.”

There is also an app for the parents-to-be or new parents. you download it on your smartphone. More info HERE.

The app provides you with all the information and tips you’ll need to get through this ‘purple cry’ period.

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