Fending Off Frustration
The Period of PURPLE Crying program helps new parents make it through times of tears
The first few months with a new baby at home can be an overwhelming time for many parents. Especially if their baby is hard to soothe while crying. That’s why Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and other Lee Health sites are now offering information and resources for new parents through the Period of PURPLE Crying program. This national, evidence-based program works to help parents understand the frequency of crying among newborns and prevent instances of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma.
“It’s a child development approach to educating parents about infant crying,” says Julie Noble, a child advocate at Golisano who oversaw the program’s local rollout and previously served as a program director for the PURPLE program at the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. “All infants go through this normal crying period, some more than others, that starts at two weeks and peaks in the second month but does come to an end. What the research shows is that second-month peak is the same peak for shaken baby syndrome.”
The acronym PURPLE stands for this Peak of crying, which can be Unexpected and Resist soothing. The infant may make a Pain-like face while crying, and the crying can be Long-lasting and often occur during the Evening. The program includes films, an educational booklet, a website (purplecrying.info) and now an app to help guide parents through this challenging time.
“Anybody can get frustrated,” says Noble. “The frustration with infant crying crosses all socioeconomic backgrounds. The Period of PURPLE Crying program works to reduce caregivers’ frustration during this period and save babies’ lives. And the most important word in that name is period. That’s letting parents know that there is a start and a stop, and we can endure just about anything if we know it’s going to come to an end.”