The Period of Purple Crying®

A new way to understand your baby's crying

The Period of PURPLE Crying® program was developed to explain normal infant crying and is based on years of child development research. All parents who deliver their child in Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center's Birthing Pavilion are provided with a 10-minute DVD and an 11-page booklet, free of charge.

The program provides detailed information about infant crying, including:

  • All babies cry, some a lot more than others.
  • Healthy crying babies can look like they are in pain, even when they are not.
  • Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try.
  • Crying can come and go and you don't know why.
  • No matter how frustrated you get, never shake your baby.

Tips for comforting your crying baby

  • Hold your baby close to you with skin-to-skin contact.
  • Walk and sing with your baby.
  • Give your baby a warm bath.
  • Take your baby outside for a walk.
  • Check to see if your baby is hungry, tired or needs changing.
  • If you have concerns about your baby's crying, call your baby's health care provider or home visitor.

These soothing ideas may not work every time, and that is why it's important to review the Period of PURPLE Crying materials. They will help parents understand their baby's crying.

The Period of PURPLE Crying Program for Teens: Understanding Infant Crying

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome has created a secondary school-based curriculum guide and resource kit for high schools to educate teens, who are often caregivers, about normal infant crying. The Injury Prevention Center has launched a pilot project called, “The Period of PURPLE Crying for Teens: Understanding Infant Crying.”

Dolls used in Period of Purple Crying school kits

Twenty school kits, which include curriculum materials and dolls, were created using funding from the sale of special cause merchandise. These kits were distributed to high schools in New Hampshire. We look forward to expanding this successful program regionally.