Frustrated? It is normal!
All babies cry, but it is ok. This is how they attempt to talk to you to get their needs met. It is normal for babies to cry from 2-4 hours a day. It is important to remember even “colicky” babies are normal. The peak of crying is around two to four months of age. After this, crying begins to happen less often. Even though crying is normal, it can still be stressful.
When you learn how to help calm a crying baby, it can make you feel like a better parent or caregiver. Responding appropriately to baby’s cues also helps baby learn and grow in important ways.
It is important to make a Crying Plan that you (or anyone watching your baby) can follow when the crying starts.
Period of PURPLE Crying
The Period of Purple Crying is a new way for parents to think about this normal stage of development in their infant’s life, where crying for no clear reason happens often. This period begins at about 2 weeks of age and continues into the infant’s 3rd to 4th month of life. During this phase in the infant’s life, they can cry for hours and still be completely healthy and normal.
P: Peak of crying
Baby may cry more each week. Usually the crying peaks at 2 months, and then slowly decreases.
Crying can come and go and you don’t know why, it just happens.
R: Resists soothing
Baby may not stop crying no matter how you try to help him/her.
P: Pain-like face
It may appear that the infant is in pain, even when they are not.
L: Long lasting
Babies during this time can cry for 5 hours a day or sometimes even more.
Babies may cry more in the late afternoon or evening. Again, this can be a normal phase.
What You Can Do?
Use this checklist of baby calming tips:
- Is baby hungry? Breastfeed or give baby a bottle.
- Does baby need to be burped? Burping can make a baby feel better.
- Does baby need a diaper change? A wet or dirty diaper may cause discomfort for baby.
- Is baby tired? Gently hold or cuddle baby.
- Are there signs that baby is sick (fever, vomiting)? Seek medical care if you have any concerns about your baby’s health.
- Does baby just need to cry? Baby may just need to cry to settle down.
- Is baby bored? Rock, walk or go for a ride in the stroller or car (in car seat).
- Too much activity? Move baby into a quiet room.
DO NOT SHAKE A BABY
Take care of you
It is important to take care of yourself so you can better care for your baby. Try these helpful suggestions:
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Get good sleep
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
If your baby is not sick or hurt but continues to cry, it’s important to remember:
- It is never ok to shake a baby.
- It is more important to stay calm than it is to stop the crying.
- It is ok to ask someone for help.
- It is ok to put your baby in a safe place (crib, infant seat) and let them cry while you take a break.
It is important to calm yourself so that you can calm the baby. Here are some things you can do:
Gently put baby in a safe place like a crib. Then leave the room for 10 minutes and try:
- Listening to music
- Taking a shower
- Doing a quick exercise
- Doing housework
- Writing down the 5 best things about yourself or the baby
- Closing your eyes and take deep, slow breaths
- Asking a friend to come help
- Counting to 100
- Going outside for a few minutes
Ask some of your friends or family if you can put them on your Crying Plan.
Keep a list of trusted people you can call if you need help during a crying period. Make sure that anyone you may call during this time is aware of your Crying Plan.