'Purple Crying' program helps new parents overcome anxiety, frustration

The first few months of parenthood are precious and sometimes noisy. Pediatricians say a baby who cries more often has colic.  

It's a term some, like Ryan Steinbeigle, take exception to. 

"When you hear the term ‘colic,’ it leads parents to believe there is something wrong or abnormal with their baby," he told FOX 13.

Steinbeigle is the executive director of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. The organization has come up with a program to help parents better understand the short period of increased crying early in a child's life. It's called “The Period of PURPLE Crying,” with the term purple being an acronym. 

The first P stands for the peak of crying. 

"It goes up and up and up beginning in the second week of life and peaking in the second month of life," Steinbeigle described.

The U is for unexpected because the crying can come and go for no obvious reason. Next is R, which stands for resists soothing. Babies continue to cry no matter what a parent does. 

The second P is for a pain-like face. 

"The baby looks like they are in pain, even though we know that they are not," Steinbeigle said. It can also be long-lasting. Some babies can cry for up to 10 hours a day. 

And lastly, the crying tends to occur in the evening. 

"This is just as parents are getting home from work and are most susceptible to becoming frustrated,” he said.

The Period of PURPLE Crying is available online and in over two thousand hospitals nationwide.  The goal is to reduce the nearly 1,400 babies injured or killed every year by frustrated new parents. 

"By helping normalize this process for parents, letting them know it has nothing to do with them having a bad baby or them being a bad parent," Steinbeigle said. "It's just a normal period of infant behavioral development."