Infant Crying
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A new way to understand your baby's crying

Bringing home a new baby is a joyous and exciting time for parents, but when that little bundle of joy won’t stop crying, parents often find themselves sleep deprived, frustrated and wondering what is wrong with their child.

Crying: Is my baby normal?

There is actually a normal time in a baby’s life when they cry much more than any other time. It often begins around two weeks of age and continues to around three to four months. This stage can be very challenging for parents who don’t understand why their baby won’t stop crying.

This common stage of infant development has a name - the Period of PURPLE Crying. The acronym PURPLE is used to describe what parents can expect at this stage:

  • Peak of crying – The crying peaks at around two months of age and then begins to decrease gradually.
  • Unexpected – Crying can come and go and you don’t know why.
  • Resists soothing – A baby may not stop crying no matter what you try.
  • Pain-like face – Babies may look like they are in pain even when they are not.
  • Long lasting – Crying can last as much as five hours a day or more.
  • Evening – Crying is more common in the late afternoon or evening.

Shaken baby syndrome is closely linked to the period of PURPLE crying. It’s a serious and potentially life threatening condition resulting from the brain bouncing back and forth against the skull when a child is shaken. This is a very dangerous practice and permanent damage to the baby can occur from as little as five seconds of shaking.

It helps to know what you can do in the moment to cope with your emotions and keep your baby safe; it is important for parents to make sure they take a break. Consider the following suggestions:

  • If you have a partner, tg team with them and take turns looking after the child.
  • Call on a trusted friend or relative to come and care for baby while you take some time for yourself.
  • Place the baby in a safe place, such as their crib, and leave the room for a few moments.

Parents and caregivers can find more information at

If you are concerned that your baby’s crying is constant, louder than usual, or if your baby has a fever, diarrhea or is vomiting, contact your health care provider or call 811. 

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