What is the Period of PURPLE Crying?

Marilyn Barr, Founder/Former Executive Director, NCSBS

The Period of PURPLE Crying is a new way to help parents understand this time in their baby’s life, which is a normal part of every infant’s development. It is confusing and concerning to be told your baby “has colic” because it sounds like it is an illness or a condition that is abnormal. When the baby is given medication to treat symptoms of colic, it reinforces the idea that there is something wrong with the baby, when in fact, the baby is going through a very normal developmental phase. That is why we prefer to refer to this time as the Period of PURPLE Crying. This is not because the baby turns purple while crying. The acronym is a meaningful and memorable way to describe what parents and their babies are going through.

The Period of PURPLE Crying begins at about 2 weeks of age and continues until about 3-4 months of age. There are other common characteristics of this phase, or period, which are better described by the acronym PURPLE. All babies go through this period. It is during this time that some babies can cry a lot and some far less, but they all go through it.

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.

PURPLE Acronym

Parents, after learning about Period of PURPLE Crying have said, “Finally they have called it something that describes what we are going through. This word colic was hard to get a handle on.”

Imagine all of the other things new parents have yet to hear of or learn about.  These facts can possibly save a child’s life by the simple fact that the parent knows what is going on and that it is not their fault.  Supporting new parents sounds like the neighborly thing to do, don’t you think?

There is truth in the statement that “IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD.”

RANDA FOX