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    Baby Crying 101: What Is PURPLE Crying?

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    Getting to know a new person can be awkward. Imagine meeting a new person who can't speak and is experiencing everything for the very first time. It might take you two a while to form an understanding.

    That's exactly what happens when you bring home a new baby.

    There is often a lot of intense crying during your baby's first few months of life. Pediatricians call this phenomenon PURPLE crying. But what is PURPLE crying, and what makes it unique? 

    In essence, PURPLE crying is a developmental stage that occurs within the first five months of your baby's life. It's a frustrating but essential step toward learning who your baby is and what he needs. This period can be stressful, but it's perfectly normal, and you are capable of getting through it. 

    Keep reading to learn more about coping with PURPLE crying and how your pixsee smart video baby monitor can help.

    What Is PURPLE Crying?

    Babies are tiny, complex human beings, capable of big feelings and emotions. The only thing that they lack is agency. Imagine knowing exactly what you want or need and being unable to express it.

    Thus, all babies cry. Young babies have less life experience and tend to cry more. They don't have a better way to share that they need comfort, sleep, or a fresh diaper. 

    In the past, pediatricians believed that persistent crying between birth and five months of age was due to a gastrointestinal issue called colic. Today they recognize that nearly all healthy babies go through this stage. The frequent crying will dissipate as you learn to detect your little one's moods and needs. 

    In the meantime, professionals use the acronym PURPLE to help new parents determine if their baby's crying is developmentally appropriate. It can help provide you with comfort and peace of mind as you navigate this noisy, emotionally fraught period in your baby's life.

    The PURPLE crying characteristics are below.

    The "P" Stands for "Peak of Crying"

    During the first weeks of your baby's life, you might stop to wonder, "is the crying getting worse?" The odds are good that you're right! Babies cry frequently and with more intensity until they hit a "peak" at around two months.

    Luckily for new parents like you, it's all downhill from there. You'll notice that your baby's cries will ease up once you hit that developmental peak. It's a great sign that you're getting to know each other better. 

    The "U" Stands for "Unexpected"

    Take a moment and notice how many times each day you stop to gripe about something. Maybe your back hurts, you're hungry, you're stressed, or you didn't sleep well. Babies can't mumble under their breath, so these little observations lead to tears. 

    During the PURPLE crying period, babies may start crying for seemingly no reason. They'll stop crying just as abruptly! It can be jarring, but even babies need to gripe now and then.

    The "R" Stands for "Resists Soothing"

    All you want to do when your baby cries is soothe them. Sometimes, however, babies just don't want to be soothed. Nothing you do seems to have an effect, and your baby certainly can't tell you what she'd prefer!

    At times we all need to simply feel our feelings. Babies are no different. Give your little one the same grace you afford yourself. 

    The Second "P" Stands for "Painful"

    In films, crying is beautiful and romantic. In reality, crying is a blotchy, snot-covered business! Often, when babies get to wailing, they look like they're in pain. 

    Pediatricians suggest that parents shouldn't worry. The crying might be uncomfortable, but your baby probably isn't hurting. 

    The "L" Stands for "Long Lasting"

    Some types of crying are quick and easy - if your baby wants you to hold her, she'll stop crying as soon as she's in your arms. PURPLE crying is a little less straightforward. 

    Crying during this period can last anywhere between thirty minutes and several hours. Sometimes it can seem like days. It can make you feel frustrated and helpless, but it's perfectly normal. 

    The "E" Stands for "Evening" 

    Babies can't tell time, but they are very good at recognizing routines and patterns. During the PURPLE crying period, babies tend to settle into a routine. The majority of persistent crying happens in the late afternoon or evening. 

    Naturally, this is right around the time when parents are hoping to get some shut-eye. Even sound sleepers have trouble settling down if their baby seems upset. This can make for some long nights and some bleary-eyed days. 

    Tips for Calming Your Baby

    PURPLE crying can be a difficult emotional challenge. You might find yourself thinking, "I don't know what to do." When you're low on sleep and your emotions feel frayed, it can be easy to respond in unproductive ways.

    That's why this sensitive period of development is a frequent cause of shaken baby syndrome. The most important thing to understand is that it is okay to put your baby down and walk away. You can do this safely with the help of your pixsee smart video baby monitor. 

    Here are a few things to try if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed:

    • Swaddling your baby
    • A warm bath
    • Rocking, swinging, or movement
    • Go for a walk
    • Skin-to-skin contact

    Do not feel guilty if you need to step away and take some time to compose yourself. Sometimes it's the best way to keep everyone safe and happy. 

    PURPLE crying explained

    Soothing Your Baby Is an Art 

    Every emotion that your sweet baby is experiencing is brand new. Little ones lack the vocabulary to express their views on the incredible new world they are inhabiting. Phenomenal parents like you understand that this period will pass as your sweet baby grows and changes. 

    What is PURPLE crying? It is the first (sometimes frustrating) step toward big, wonderful things to come. You can get through this tricky period with the help of your pixsee smart camera baby monitor. 

    The pixsee smart cry decoder offers new parents peace of mind with industry-leading privacy protection. Visit our online store to bring home a pixsee smart video baby monitor and take the guesswork out of caring for your little one.

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    publish:June 24, 2022, update:June 24, 2022

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