Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Period of Purple Crying

When my siblings were born, it was called "colic," and they definitely had it. I always wondered what "colic" was, and if was some condition why couldn't they cure it? Now, that "colic" stage has a new name and a much better explanation: the Period of Purple Crying. 

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This is a completely normal stage of development that usually begins at 2 weeks and can continue until baby is 3 to 4 months old. Apparently all breastfeeding mammals experience a similar process! Even knowing that this is a normal part of development might not help when your child has been crying inconsolably for what feels like hours (who knows, maybe it has been hours).

Purplecrying.info is a great website with lots of information and resources about the Period of Purple Crying, soothing, and sleeping.

Some tips they gave to soothe a crying infant include:
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    Feed your baby. Hunger is the main reason a baby will cry.
  • Burp your baby. Babies do not have a natural ability to get rid of air built up in the stomach.
  • Give your baby a lukewarm bath. A great soothing technique, but remember to never leave your baby unattended.
  • Massage your baby. A gentle massage on a baby's back, arms or legs can be very comforting.
  • Make eye contact with your baby and smile. Eye-to-eye contact with your baby when they are crying can distract and comfort them.
  • Kiss your baby. This can help lessen the tension during fierce crying episodes.
  • Sing softly. Lullabies were created because of their effectiveness at calming crying babies.
  • Hum in a low tone against your baby's head. Dads usually do this soothing feature best.
  • Run a vacuum cleaner. The noise from a vacuum is referred to as white noise which is any sound that produces a loud, neutral, masking sound. Babies find these noises hypnotizing.
  • Take your baby for a ride in the car. The vibrations from a car have a sleep inducing effect on babies. Always make sure your baby is secure in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat.

One thing the website stressed was that some things work some times, but nothing works all  the time. And as a parent, this can be an incredibly frustrating thing. At some point, every parent has found themselves frustrated or exhausted by their crying child. It's important to take time to relax and rid yourself of some of these feelings. Dontshake.org states that "Frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants." Here are some tips for how to relax.

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