What is the Period of PURPLE Crying?

The Period of PURPLE Crying better explains the symptoms of colic.

New parents will quickly learn that infants spend a lot of time crying. Trying to navigate this period of your child’s life can be scary and confusing – especially when your little one won’t stop bawling. Thankfully, the Period of PURPLE Crying provides a look into this developmental time that will help parents feel like they’re not alone.

What is the Period of PURPLE Crying?

From age two weeks to four months, babies who are considered colicky are in a stage called the Period of PURPLE Crying. PURPLE is an acronym that stands for:


  • Peak of crying: Some infants show signs of colic around two weeks. They reach the peak of their crying around month two and then lessen their loud screams between months three and five.
  • Unexpected: Parents are all-too-familiar with the unexpected crying that happens one minute and is gone the next with seemingly no trigger or explanation.
  • Resists soothing: A huge part of colic is that the crying doesn’t have a reason behind it. Colicky babies tend to resist soothing because there is nothing to fix or make better.
  • Pain-like face: One of the hardest parts for parents is seeing the look of pain on their tiny babies’ faces. Thankfully, this facial expression is not an indicator of actual pain.
  • Long lasting: Babies in this stage may cry five hours or more every day.
  • Evening: Nighttime or afternoon are often when these little ones cry the most.

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Why does Period of PURPLE Crying matter?

When new parents bring their crying infant in to the doctor because he or she won’t stop crying, the physician will rule out underlying issues. If there is no medical reason for the child to be upset, and all his or her needs are being met, the baby will likely be diagnosed with colic. However, simply labeling the crying as colic doesn’t provide the parents with any help. The Period of PURPLE Crying explains what the new family is going through, ncludign the timing, lack of reason and the inability to calm the child down. Parents should understand that this time will eventually end and their baby will be perfectly healthy even after all those painful faces and loud cries. Hang in there, moms and dads!