Period of PURPLE Crying: Yes, It’s a Thing!

period of purple crying

All babies cry! Crying is their way of communicating that they are hungry, tired, hot, have a soiled diaper, or just want to be held.  However, some babies cry more than others. Incessant, uncontrollable crying can potentially drive a parent or caregiver crazy. When babies continue to cry when there is nothing wrong, it is usually referred to as colic, but it’s important to remember that this is a normal developmental phase. It’s called the Period of PURPLE Crying.  

Where Did the Term PURPLE Crying Come From?

According to, the letters in PURPLE stand for peak of crying, unexpected, resistant to soothing, a pained-looking expression, long lasting, and usually in the evenings. It is called a Period of PURPLE Crying because there is a beginning and an end to the crying. As difficult as this period can be, it is important to remember it is only temporary. PURPLE Crying can start when the baby is around two or three weeks old and can last up until the baby is three or four months old. There is no rhyme or reason for PURPLE Crying. There is absolutely nothing physically or emotionally wrong with the baby. It’s just a period that some babies live through.

How Do You Cure PURPLE Crying?

Unfortunately, there is no cure or treatment for PURPLE crying. Parents and caregivers should prepare as much as they can to get through this period. The best ways for parents and caregivers to deal with a child’s PURPLE Crying include the following:

  • Rocking the baby while walking
  • Going for a ride in the car
  • Pushing them around the neighborhood in their stroller
  • Taking small breaks, letting the baby cry
  • Having family members or friends give watch the child for a while (make sure they understand what they will be dealing with)
  • Loving your child as usual

The good news is that it does end. PURPLE Crying usually lasts about three or four months, which feels like a lifetime, but it does end.  

Parents and caregivers who are not familiar with PURPLE Crying can become overwhelmed and shake their child by accident. states that Shaken Baby Syndrome has often resulted from PURPLE Crying because the parents lose control and didn’t know how to soothe the child. Shaking a baby can cause serious brain damage and can lead to death depending on the severity of the damage.

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