Bringing home a newborn baby is both a wonderful and stressful event.  A caregiver can be left feeling helpless and frustrated if their newborn is crying and they are unable to figure out why.  Listening to a newborn cry inconsolably for long periods of time can be a heart-wrenching experience.  This can foster feelings of frustration, anger, and exhaustion, which may cause the caregiver to shake the baby.  Shaken baby syndrome is a serious brain injury that occurs after forcefully shaking an infant and can result in permanent brain damage or death.  Period of PURPLE Crying is a program that aims to decrease the number of shaken babies by helping parents understand that crying is a normal part of every infant's development.  Beginning at about 2 weeks of age, babies go through this time of PURPLE crying.  This last until the child is about 3 or 4 months.  PURPLE stands for:

Peak of Crying: Each week your baby may cry more. This peaks around 2 months of age.

Unexpected: The crying starts and stops with no explanation.

Resists Soothing: The baby doesn't stop crying regardless of what you do.

Pain-like Face: The baby may look like they are in pain even if they are not.

Long Lasting: The baby may cry for as long as 5 hours a day.

Evening: The baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening.

The New Parent Support Program (NPSP) is available to provide more information on the Period of PURPLE Crying and help you access online trainings and informational apps for your smartphone and tablet.  NPSP is a voluntary program that provides education and support to expectant parents or families with children ages 0 to 5.  For more information about NPSP, Period of PURPLE Crying, or other supportive parenting services, contact your local installation NPSP or Family Advocacy Program.