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Babies do cry. There is nothing uncommon about it. However, what can be a cause of worry is if your baby cries non-stop and you are unable to pacify him or her in any manner. The amount of crying that happens is usually at its peak during the first three months. Most of the time, parents would be able to identify a crying pattern that is unique for their child.
Each infant is different. The peak crying for some may be one hour, while for others it could be for as long as five hours. Inconsolable crying is the most difficult phase where no matter what you do, the baby never seems to calm down. Sometimes crying might begin and stop for no apparent reason and this could be really frustrating for the parents.
One of the most misunderstood parts is the unsoothability feature of early infant crying. Nevertheless, a parent should accept the fact that he or she can do the best to try to soothe the baby; however if the baby still continues to cry, there is no reason to fret about it. It's a phase and shall pass soon.
Crying Baby: What Is Normal?
Infants cry about one to three hours daily. It is normal for an infant to cry when he or she is thirsty, tired, sleepy, lonely, hungry or in pain. Sometimes, during the early weeks post birth, you might observe that your child is extra fussy during a particular time of the evening. This is normal too.
However, if your infant cries too often and in an unusual manner, there could be certain health issues which you are unable to identify. In such scenarios, it is good to seek medical advice.
Reasons Why Your Baby Could Be Crying
• Hunger is one of the most common reasons why babies cry.
• When a baby cries after feeding then it might be because it needs to be burped.
• The baby cries a lot when she has colic.
• When your baby wants to be held and cuddled.
• When the baby is over-tired and wants to sleep, he or she might get fussy and would cry to indicate that he or she wants to be rocked and put to sleep.
• Babies cry when they feel too hot or too cold.
• Some babies protest if there is a wet or soiled nappy.
• Babies also cry when they are unwell.
What Is Colic?
A condition that affects almost all infants during their first couple of months, colic is an attack of crying that is caused due to abdominal pain and discomfort. If the baby appears healthy, happy and active, yet has repeated episodes of inconsolable crying, then it is a possible indication of colic.
The symptoms of colic include intense crying where the baby does not get pacified, irregular sleeping, clenched fists with knees drawn up and back arched, passing of wind, interrupted feeding, etc.
What Causes Colic?
Although the exact causes still remain a mystery, colic is associated with indigestion and wind. It can be due to the baby's gut being sensitive to some of the substances found in breast milk or formula milk. Babies of mothers who smoked during pregnancy have higher chances of having colic.
What Is PURPLE Crying?
The term "PURPLE crying" has been coined by Ronald Barr, an infant crying expert. This is a term used to describe persistent crying or colic in babies. PURPLE crying reassures parents that colic is just a phase and most babies go through it. The letters of PURPLE actually stand for the characteristics associated with persistent crying:
P: Peak of crying - The crying possibly peaks around two months post birth. After three months, the crying becomes less frequent.
U: Unexpected crying - Parents remain confused as to why the baby is crying. It is quite impossible to pacify the baby.
R: Resists soothing - No matter what is done, you cannot comfort the baby.
P: Pain-like face - Baby appears to be in pain.
L: Long-lasting - The crying can go on for hours. It mostly begins during the evening.
E: Evening - The crying usually happens late afternoon or in the evening.
The period of PURPLE crying is a phrase that is associated with a particular period in the baby's life. It is a normal phase in an infant's development. Colic is not an illness or a developmental delay, which several parents might be concerned about especially if your doctor prescribes a medication to treat colic. The occurrence of colic is in no way related to an abnormal developmental phase.
The period referred to by PURPLE crying usually begins to occur at about the age of 2 weeks and can continue till the baby is four months old. It is during this period when babies tend to cry a lot.
How To Manage The Period Of PURPLE Crying?
As a parent, you can follow the below tips in order to comfort your baby who might be going through the PURPLE crying phase.
• Try feeding the baby. Comfort feeding can sometimes soothe a crying baby.
• Burp the baby often.
• Give a lukewarm bath to the baby.
• A gentle massage on the back, arms and legs can comfort the baby.
• Kiss and cuddle your baby. Nothing pacifies your baby better than showing love and care.
• Take your baby for a car ride. The vibrations may make the baby fall asleep.
• Eye-to-eye contact with your baby can distract him or her. Smile when you look at the baby.
Remember that colic is something that most babies go through and there is no cause for worry. If you feel the colic is too severe, then you can consult your doctor who can prescribe a colic-relieving medication.