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The Period of PURPLE Crying

April 23, 2012, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

The Period of PURPLE Crying

When babies cry a lot, many parents fear there's something wrong. But years of research now show the child is probably just going through a phase.

In fact, Sanford now has a program to educate new parents about what's called the Period of PURPLE Crying.

First-time mother Ashley Brost loves spending time with her four-month-old son, Benton. She says he's a silly baby with a lot of facial expressions.

"The love you have for your child, you want the best for them. You never want them to cry. You want them to be happy," Brost said.

While Benton is a happy baby, Brost says every mother has her worries, especially if the baby is fussy.

"As first-time parents you have this idea instilled in you that when your baby cries, something is wrong and you need to be able to fix it. If you can't fix it, then maybe something is wrong with you," Brost said.

But research shows there may not be anything wrong. From about two-weeks to four-months old, babies go through the Period of PURPLE Crying. That's the point in a baby's life when they cry the most.

"It's very normal for your baby to cry. Don't feel like you're a bad parent. You're not doing anything wrong," Sanford Birth OB Navigator Paige Rock said.

In addition to being a post partum and prenatal nurse, Paige Rock will soon have her third child. She says every child is different-some cry for 20 minutes a day--others five hours.

"There were times where I did take that mom-time-out and just say 'You're crying, you're safe.' I feel like I might be getting a little frustrated.  So, I'm going to put you down and take a couple deep breaths," Rock said.

And if you're getting frustrated, Rock says you should put your baby down for a few minutes until you calm down. Otherwise, you could end up harming the baby by shaking it.

"As long as you can hear them, you know they're ok; it's fine. Take that time to calm yourself down too," Rock said.

While Benton does not cry often, Brost says she's glad she knows about the Period of Purple Crying because her future children might not be the same way.

"They could just be crying for no reason. It could be very unexpected. They could be resistant to soothing. Sometimes you just may need to gather your thoughts before you get to the point where you're frustrated, and you do something as impulse that you would regret later," Brost said.

So when do you know if there is something wrong with your baby? Rock says that's difficult to tell, but if you sense something is not right, don't be afraid to call a doctor.

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