You are here

Baby Milestones: Why She Won't Stop Crying

So long, quiet, dreamy newborn; hello, certified screamer? If your baby has begun shrieking endlessly, his face turning purple in frustration, console yourself with this fact: A series of Canadian studies have shown that sometime in the first five months, all newborns experience unsoothable crying jags, some of which can last two hours. Overall, they may cry as much as five hours a day. Some infants sit at the calm end of the spectrum, some are in the middle, and some cry for hours, says Ronald Barr, M.D., the study author and a professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. (The children on the high end of the spectrum are often considered to have colic.) Dr. Barr calls this stage "the period of PURPLE crying." (See below.) By giving it a name, he hopes parents will realize that it's not their fault; some babies cry -- a lot. Talk to a doctor to rule out a medical cause, and then try to ride it out: Hold your child, walk him, and get help, so you can refuel. You will get past this!

P - Peak crying occurs between 2 and 5 months of age
U - Crying is unpredictable, coming and going for no reason
R - The baby resists soothing
P - The baby looks as if he's in pain, but you can't find a cause
L - The periods of crying are long, up to two hours each
E - Crying tends to occur in the evening or the late afternoon