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Babies cry - a lot
...often for long periods

for no apparent reason.


Some call it "colic," but periods of crying are part of a baby's normal development.  This time of excessive crying is referred to as the "period of PURPLE crying."

Your child can cry for hours and still be perfectly healthy.  It is also very normal for you as a parent to feel frustrated and angry.  It is important to know that there may be times that you should not hold your baby until you have had time to calm down.  It is also important for you to share this information with anyone that cares for your baby, including babysitter, spouse or other family members.

In most cases, a baby suffers brain injuries, also called Shaken Baby Syndrome, when shaken by a frustrated caregiver.  Shaking a baby for even a few seconds can cause lifelong disabilities or death.

Understanding that there is a pattern behind these times of excessive crying can help.  The world PURPLE is used to explain these infant crying patterns:

P-Peak of Crying.  Your child may cry more each week, peaking at 2 months and getting less at 3-5 months.

U-Unexpected.  Crying may come on at an unexpected time.

R-Resists Soothing. Your baby may not like anything you try to soothe them.

P-Pain-Like Face.  Your baby's expression may make it look as if they are in pain, although they may not be.

L-Long Lasting.  Crying will usually last about five hours, sometimes more.

E-Evening.  Your baby may cry more than normal in the late afternoon or evening hours.

When your baby won't stop crying, no matter what you do, remember the word CALM can help you focus and stay in control: 

 Stay Calm

C = Count to 10
A = Attend to needs
L = Listen to types of cries
M = Monitor yourself and baby

If nothing has helped soothe your baby, and you can't take any more crying, place the baby in its crib and walk away for 10 minutes.  When you know its basic needs are met, it's OK to allow the baby to cry.

It doesn't make you a bad parent.  Take some deep breaths and call someone close to you to ask for help or just to talk.


For more information and tips on how to soothe your baby during crying spells, visit