All babies cry. It’s how they communicate with us. Crying is the way babies let us know they are hungry or need something, are tired, lonely, have discomfort or pain, or are frustrated.
Some babies cry a lot. For some, their crying will peak between 2 weeks and 3-4 months. This is a NORMAL developmental stage and is referred to as the Period of PURPLE crying. The word period means that the crying will not last forever – it is a period in development.
Ways to Comfort your Baby
You cannot spoil a baby with too much love and comfort. Comforting your baby when they are upset teaches your baby that you will be there when they need you. This helps them feel safe and they may cry less when they are older!
When your baby cries, first try:
- Picking them up.
- Checking their diaper.
- Feeding them.
- Checking to see that they are not too hot or too cold.
If these aren’t working, try these ideas:
- Rock your baby or use gentle movement.
- Play soft music, talk, sing, or stroke your baby’s forehead. Avoid loud, sudden noises.
- Take your baby to a quiet room and turn off the lights.
- Snuggle your baby skin-to-skin.
- Give your baby a warm bath or massage.
- Take your baby for a walk outside.
When you Can’t Settle your Baby
All babies have times in their first few months when they cry more often. Sometimes nothing you do will calm your baby. If you are feeling upset:
- Take a few deep breaths. Tell yourself “this will be okay.”
- Ask for help from a friend or family member.
- If you are feeling frustrated, put your baby safely and calmly into the bassinet or crib. It is okay to leave your baby crying in a safe place for a short time until you are calm.
! Never shake, hit, or throw your baby! Even a quick shake can cause serious brain damage because of a baby’s large head, weak neck muscles, and growing brain. Make sure everyone who cares for your baby knows this! Shaken Baby Syndrome can cause permanent brain damage, disabilities, and death. If you think your baby has been shaken, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
<It is much more important to stay calm, than to stop the crying.>
When to Call Your Health Care Provider
- Your baby has a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Your baby seems sick or the cries are unusually shrill or intense.
- You are afraid you might hurt your baby.
Period of Purple Crying – An important video for all caregivers to watch