Period of PURPLE Crying
After 50 years of research, the Period of PURPLE Crying program was created in 2007. It is an evidence-based program designed to help parents with new babies understand a developmental stage that spans from two weeks of age, until three to four months of age.
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 Period of PURPLE Crying program was implemented at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) in 2008. The goal is to educate parents and caregivers about the normal crying characteristics that are common in the first few weeks or months of their baby’s life and the dangers of shaking a baby.
The acronym PURPLE helps describe the characteristics of early infant crying beginning at two weeks of age, until three to four months.
P – Peak of crying: Your baby may cry more each week, the most in month two, then less in months three to five.
U – Unexpected: Crying can come and go, and you may not know why.
R – Resist soothing: Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try.
P – Pain-like face: A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not.
L – Long lasting: Crying can last as much as five hours a day or more.
E – Evening: Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening
The word “period” means that the crying has a beginning and an end.
At LHSC, the Period of PURPLE Crying program is delivered to all parents after every birth. It includes a DVD or access code for an app and an 10-page booklet. Maternity nurses are trained to provide this education to each family.