The Period of PURPLE Crying program mobile app found in the Apple App and Google Play stores is intended for parents of newborns who have received the PURPLE program education from a trained educator or medical provider. Part of this education to parents of newborns includes receiving an access code to view and share the program materials on a mobile or desktop device. We continue to work with hospitals, public health offices, pediatric practices and others across North America to expand delivery of this important program to families.
You have been directed to this page to learn more about the Period of PURPLE Crying program. The PURPLE program helps parents understand this period of increased infant crying that is a normal part of every infant’s development. You can learn more about infant crying and colic on these pages:
"The first most important rule concerning soothing infant crying is that
some things work some of the time, but nothing works all of the time."
The PURPLEcrying.info website was developed for parents of newborns to learn about the Period of PURPLE Crying and learn from child development experts who have shared their expertise on infant sleeping, protecting your infant, and information specifically for dads, to name a few.
You may also be interested in learning more about ways to soothe your infant’s crying. The first most important rule concerning soothing infant crying is that some things work some of the time, but nothing works all of the time. Learn more about the Common Features and Principles of Soothing.
Position“Changing positions” most often means picking the baby up from lying down, and (usually) putting your baby on your shoulder. There are lots of good things that happen with this simple movement. One is that your baby gets a “new view” of the world. Another is that you often have some eye-to-eye contact with your baby. A third is that the body contact between you and your baby is typically soothing. All of these things and more occur with this one simple change of position.
RepeatingWhat is repeated can be almost anything…well, anything that is comforting. It can be sounds, sights, touches or smells. As we are all aware, almost all lullabies have parts that are repeated, either of words or of the musical tunes or both, as a prominent feature. That is no accident. Repeating things tends to be calming..
RhythmsThis occurs when a sound, sight or touch is not only repeated, but repeated in a pattern; that is, rhythmic. Again, there are lots of examples. When a mother sings a lullaby, the music has a rhythm (in addition to words and musical tunes that are repeated). When mothers speak to babies, they tend to use a higher tone of voice, and to exaggerate certain words. This special way of talking to babies is called “motherese” by the scientists who study this form of talking. This exaggeration is adding a rhythm to the words that mothers use. When the sounds, sights or touches that have rhythms go on for a period of time, they can be even more soothing.
White NoiseTechnically, “white noise” is sound without rhythm. It is the kind of noise that is made by airplanes when they take off, for example. Mothers who live near airports will often talk about their baby becoming quiet when a plane is taking-off, only to begin crying again when the plane has disappeared.
ClosenessBy this, I mean the care giver and baby being close to each other, as when the mother is holding the baby or snuggling with her.
Involving Many Sensations“Many sensations“ means what we said before: sounds, sights, touches and smells. Each of these is a different way of sensing the environment. What this feature says is that you are likely to be more successful at calming your baby if whatever you do includes more sensations. So, for example, if what you do includes sounds, sights and touch [as when reading a book to your infant], it is likely to be more effective than something that just includes touch.
Human Sights, Sounds, and SmellsThis probably will not come as a surprise, but it is important. Human interaction is important to human infants (another reason they are not just machines). Formal studies have confirmed that a human voice (as compared to nonhuman sounds) and human figures (as compared to something that is generally visually distracting) are typically more soothing. Furthermore, as your infant gets older in the first few months, the human versions of sounds and sights become increasingly more effective than they were earlier.