Period of Purple Crying

One of the most challenging components of newborn parenting is the amount of time your new baby may spend crying. It is entirely normal for newborns to cry anywhere from 2-5 hours in a 24 hour period. 

That combined crying time can include small crying sessions that add up throughout the day plus longer bouts of crying for an hour or more at a time. This is dubbed the Period of Purple Crying, and we are not the only mammals who engage in this.

“Scientists decided to look at different animal species to see if they go through this developmental stage. So far, all breast feeding animals tested do have a similar developmental stage of crying more in the first months of life as human babies do.” -Marilyn Barr, Founder of National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

The two most important things to remember about Purple Crying are that it is developmentally normal and it is a passing stage that should subside by 3-4 months of age. If you feel your baby’s crying is too intense or persists longer than this early stage, it is always a good idea to check in with their healthcare provider. 

A few tips for family sanity:

  1. Understanding this is normal for newborns can lower your expectations of you and your baby.
  2. Build your support network so you have help caring for yourself and your baby during the postpartum transition.
  3. Learn skills to soothe your baby and help them regulate. The more tools you have in your parenting kit, the better!

To find out more about the specifics of Purple Crying, visit their website:

To talk with someone, call our Family Help Line today.

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