Fussy Newborns

Posted on March 21, 2021
Author: Liliya Gerasymchuk, DO, FAAP

Previously, when babies would go through long periods of crying and resist soothing, it was known as colic. However, it is now known to be a normal part of newborn development that some babies cry for longer periods of time than others. The new term, Period of PURPLE Crying, helps remind us that this phase is normal, is temporary, and will pass. This can start from two weeks, and last until three or four months.

What does PURPLE stand for?
  • Peak of crying: Each week your baby can cry more, peaking in month 2 and less in months 3-5.
  • Unexpected: Crying can be intermittent and without reason.
  • Resists soothing: Your interventions to calm your baby may not seem to help.
  • Pain-like face: During a crying episode baby may appear in pain, even when they are not.
  • Long-lasting: Crying can last several hours, up to 5 hours a day.
  • Evening: Baby may cry more in the late afternoon or evening.

The only real remedy is time and having your baby outgrow this phase. However, there are a few interventions you can try at home to soothe your baby. The 5 S’s: Swaddle, Side or Stomach (back is the only safe place for sleep, but this position can calm a fussy baby), Shush, Swing (rock baby or soft gentle bounces), Suck (pacifier or breast).

To learn more, visit http://www.purplecrying.info/ or https://www.happiestbaby.com/blogs/baby/the-5-s-s-for-soothing-babies

Article by Liliya Gerasymchuk, DO, FAAP | Pediatrics


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