Purple Crying: Coping with excessive baby crying

Fact: All babies cry. No arguing there.

Fact: Babies don't all cry the same. Some cry more, some cry less. And after all babies are different from each other.

But there is what is called excessive crying and that is something not all of us - as parents - understand. Actually, it is something we are not prepared for and coping with it is, to say the least a challenge.

Let me tell you about it.

Defining excessive crying

According to statistics, babies cry more from one month old until three months, by then crying starts decreasing slowly. During that time, and what is considered normal, is that a baby will cry on and off throughout the day, but never exceeding by much the 2 hours grand total. This is considered a normal crier.

Obviously, even 5 minutes cry can seem like an eternity when you are a parent.

Now, there are babies that cry less than average - and that can be a problem too - but then there are those that cry more, much more than the average - and this article will address that problem.

To understand the problem of the excessive crying you need to experience it, otherwise you can't fully comprehend. I have talked to a number of parents and each and everyone of them has talked about how terrible it was when the baby was crying, how it seemed like the parent needed to do something to soothe the baby, to stop the crying. But then I also noticed how most of them were not talking about the same kind of crying. I've also came across with those that know what I am talking about, but those were very few. According to statistics only 20 percent.

You see, only 20 % of the babies are excessive criers or high criers. It is possible that a mother of two, three or four children, has none that is an excessive crier. I have talked to a parent of seven, that told me he didn't know what too much crying was until he got to the seventh. I have talked to others that didn't have to wait that long, for some it happened the first time around, others the second, but no matter what, it's the same for everybody...

I don't know the reason for this excessive crying, no one does, if it's what some call colic, if it's stress, if it's a family related issue, something hereditary, there is no telling... I've often thought if it wasn't this last reason, since apparently I was also a high crier as a baby, but the fact is that parents with several children may have one high crier and another that is an average crier. Apparently there is no reason for this crying.

If we consider statistics a baby that is an excessive crier can cry a grand total of 6 hours a day, several days or months straight, against the average crier with just 2 hours a day. Moreover, such a baby can cry 2 hours straight non-stop against the 5, 10 or 15 minutes average.

This sort of crying is that sort that has no apparent reason: the baby is fed, the baby is rested, the diaper is changed, the baby is held, the baby is loved and pampered and all the little things in between, but still, no matter what, baby will not stop crying.

It may be difficult to understand, for those who have not experienced it, after all, the little cuties cry, but not that much and if we hold them or feed them or... they stop crying and then they look so lovely asleep and mom and dad even have some time for themselves.

But the thing is, with these high criers, nothing of that is true: mom and dad don't have time for themselves, baby doesn't sleep that much, baby just cries and cries and the parents are lost and just want to pull their own hair off with despair. Parents become sleep deprived, really start losing it and then there is that ringing in their ears all the time, so at some point even if there is no crying around them, they still hear crying in their head. All in all, it's far from pretty.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My high crier - right after being bornMy average crier - right after being bornAnd on it goes... "There is no stopping me..."Just looking around... "All is well..."
My high crier - right after being born
My high crier - right after being born | Source
My average crier - right after being born
My average crier - right after being born | Source
And on it goes...
And on it goes... | Source
"There is no stopping me..."
"There is no stopping me..." | Source
Just looking around... "All is well..."
Just looking around... "All is well..." | Source

Period of purple crying

There is a time when crying is more natural, that is, it is expected a baby cries more between the one to three months old than at other times, reaching a peak at about two months old. But it doesn't stop there, at three months, it actually goes on for a bit longer, depending on the baby and the intensity also depends on the baby. This is important to understand several features of the crying and how it is temporary and therefore, no matter how despairing it may seem, it will pass and parents will have time to enjoy the baby despite this.

Realizing this and acknowledging the period of purple crying allows parents to cope better with the situation.

Purple actually is an acronym that stands for the features of crying that parents should be aware of.

P stands for Peak of crying, since the baby seems to cry more and more until reaching the peak at around two months, time it starts to decrease slowly.

U stands for Unexpected crying, since the baby may seem fine and suddenly starts crying for no apparent reason.

R stands for Resists soothing, because it really doesn't matter what parents do, since the baby will not stop crying.

P stands for Pain-like face, since the baby may seem like is in pain.

L stands for Long-lasting, since he can go on crying non-stop for hours.

E stands for Evening, since the baby may cry more at evening time.

It's important to realize that during this period a baby can cry for hours and still be healthy, it doesn't mean there is something wrong with the baby. It's also important to realize this is a time when the parents are put to the test and it's important not to lose one's temper, between parents, but also and more important with the baby.

No matter how despaired a parent might feel, he must never lose its temper with baby and never,ever shake the baby. Believe it or not, the period of purple crying is responsible for a lot of cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Coming across a high crier

So, how did this subject caught my eye?

It actually caught not just my eye, but the whole of me... Because I gave birth to a high crier. And it's no misunderstanding, it's no case of having an average baby and just thinking he cries too much. No. And I know this, because exactly at the same time - well, one minute apart - I had an average crier.

I had twins, but my twins are completely different from each other, from the moment they were born, I could see how different they were.

It's not that my average crier didn't cry, make no mistake, he cried alright, but it was manageable. He cried, I fed him, I changed him, he slept a while, he cried again, I held him and that was that...

But my little girl... well, from the moment she was born she started crying. While the other slept, she cried and cried and kept crying no matter what. She didn't even wait until she was 1 month old and she sure didn't stop around three months old, she kept going until six or seven months old, more or less. Only then, she started calming down, not that she stopped crying, but at least it was manageable.

She amazed everyone. My sister that already had two daughters had never seen a baby like her. People stared at me everywhere I went, because the baby wouldn't stop crying, so everybody looked at me like I should be doing something wrong and it sure felt like it to me. At one point, tired as I was, sleep deprived and desperate, I started resenting her and then I started feeling a terrible mother for resenting her.

At the same time, I felt like I wasn't paying enough attention to my little boy, because she actually didn't allow me much spare time to spend with him.

So, I had to learn to deal with all the crying and although this article is only meant for 20 % of the parents out there, I thought my experience and my conclusions might be of help to some. Obviously, this is just a point of view, my point of view based on my experience, so it doesn't mean everyone else feels the same or that the same things work for other parents, so feel free to think or feel differently.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
And here we go again..."Is my sister for real? I really need to have a word with her..."
And here we go again...
And here we go again... | Source
"Is my sister for real? I really need to have a word with her..."
"Is my sister for real? I really need to have a word with her..." | Source

Coping with a high crier

The bottom line is basically this: excessive crying is temporary, eventually it will go away, you just have to hold on until then.

So, how do you cope with it? How do you do, so you don't lose your mind?

If you think your baby cries too much, go to the doctor with the baby, have him do all the tests necessary. If your baby is healthy, then you just have a fussy baby and you need to cope with the situation.

  • First you need to acknowledge it is temporary; Then that it's not you; That it's not just you; That it's not just your baby;
  • A high crier demands that you get some help from friends or family for a variety of reasons, for you to have a moment to yourself, to get some work around the house done or even to sleep for a while. Yes, sleep is essential and, if your baby is a high crier, you are probably not getting much sleep.

I remember how my family was so far away that I didn't get much help, so at one point I was so sleep deprived I wasn't thinking straight anymore and at that time in your life you really need to be thinking straight.

  • If you feel you are losing your temper and you've done all you could and nothing soothes the baby, if you think he is alright - apart from the crying bit - and he is in a safe place with no chance of hurting himself, just walk away, go into another room and breathe for a while.

I remember a few times when my baby girl cried for 2 hours straight - I actually clocked it sometimes - I just ironed for a while (I also checked on her often), I know it sounds strange, but it calmed me down and clothes needed ironing, so it was a win-win.

  • Each day think that you are a bit closer to the end of all that crying. It may not seem much, but it can really get you going.
  • Ignore the eye balling and the whispers when you walk by with your crying baby, if they whisper it's because they don't know what you are going through.
  • Find others that are going through the same as you. They are out there. Talking about it with someone that gets you, really goes a long way.

Today

Sometimes it seems far, far away, it seems another lifetime away, but it was just four years ago.

Now, believe it or not, despite all the hardship and the challenge my baby girl was, I bonded with her in a way that I might say was impossible, back then.

It's true, despite all I felt at the time, my love is such, that I'm not quite sure I can keep it all in me, I feel it overflow from me to them, to my two babies, my high crier and my average crier... and I find it more amazing how something so very hard can translate into so much love, a melted heart as I look at them with all this laughter in my eyes and so many hugs and kisses to go around.

So, if you have a high crier, think nothing of it, in the end it will pass, it will not damage your relationship with your child, if anything it will make it stronger, despite of what it may seem to you at those hard times, you just need to keep your head cool and never give up... after all isn't that what parenting is?

At the end of the day...

Click thumbnail to view full-size
We all turned out just fine...
We all turned out just fine...
We all turned out just fine... | Source
Source
Source

Was your baby a high cryer?

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© Copyright Jul 18 2012 / Algarveview.hubpages.com. To use part or the whole article you must first get written permission from the author. Feel free, nonetheless, to use an intro of the hub with a link to the article here on hubpages for the rest of the article.

© 2012 Joana e Bruno

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Comments 15 comments

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

I saw your tittle and had to share this: my son was the perfect baby. Everything bad we heard about babies he never did. He was a dream baby.. except his cry... it could shatter glass (not literally). solution.. give him no or little reason to cry. :))


algarveview profile image

algarveview 4 years ago from Algarve, Portugal Author

Hello, Mhatter99, the crying really gets to us, doesn't it? Same with my baby girl, she was and is absolutely perfect, but she cried and cried... Thanks for stopping by, commenting and sharing! Have a wonderful day!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

Excellent encouragement for parents. My grandson didn't feel well and cried and cried. His poor mommy was so distressed. The day you just ironed clothes you were wise. A calm mom is better able to sooth a baby than a nervous mom.


algarveview profile image

algarveview 4 years ago from Algarve, Portugal Author

Hello, tirelesstraveler, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting and I'm glad you liked it. I do hope this is encouraging, because it is so difficult and when we are going through it we feel such an anguish, that is hard to believe everything will be alright. I think it helps talking about it and having other parents that understand what we are going through, but for some reason most people are not inclined to talk about this, I still don't quite understand why... I totally understand what your daughter went through with your grandson and it's an unbelievable situation. All the best for the three of you!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

My daughter was what at the time was referred to as a "high need baby." Previously such babies were, as you pointed out, called colicky babies. My daughter cried from the moment she was born and 2 hours or 3 were nothing. She only stopped crying when she was nursing and when she was sleeping. Sleeping was 5 minutes here and there, maybe a total of 2-3 hours in 24. No, I'm not exaggerating. Most babies sleep most of the time, but not mine. I was exhausted and even hallucinating from lack of sleep.

Your hub has inspired me because my husband and I did discover a couple of things that helped, so I'm thinking I should write a hub about them. They may help other people too.

Very good hub, especially for parents to be. Voting you UP and useful.


algarveview profile image

algarveview 4 years ago from Algarve, Portugal Author

Hello, Au fait, I know just what you mean, my daughter slept for 15 minutes and then cried for two hours and then slept another 15 minutes, and I thought that was so strange, I thought it couldn't be any good for her health... And I kept reading that newborns were supposed to sleep 20 hours a day and I was like... what? Anway if you found some things that can help cope with these situations, you should definitely write about them... Thanks for stopping by, commenting and voting! Take care!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

We just found out why HJ has been crying so much. He has cut 8 teeth in less than a month. Still nothing like purple crying.


algarveview profile image

algarveview 4 years ago from Algarve, Portugal Author

Hello, Tirelesstraveler, I'm glad you found out what was causing all the crying... All the best! Take care!


Sammy 3 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing ....I don't feel so alone anymore :)


Sammy 3 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing......I don't feel so alone anymore. My baby is a high crier who since she was 2 weeks old has cried every night for 2-3 hours before bed..no matter what we do to soothe and calm her she cries inconsolably. I was starting to think what are we doing wrong....but after reading several articles and talking with the doctor I feel much better. Your article has made me feel like i am not alone Thanks again


algarveview profile image

algarveview 3 years ago from Algarve, Portugal Author

Hi, Sammy, it's a hard time when babies cry too much, but just think that you just have to hold on for a while, then eventually your baby will calm down and you will be able to enjoy every moment. Sometimes I look at my daughter and I can't believe the way we two connect,. because if someone asked me when she was 5 or 6 months old I would say we would never have such a connection... I wish you all the best! Take care!


Sharon 3 years ago

Thankyou for making me feel like I am not alone, I have a high crier. He is now 10 months and still has aVERY difficult temperament. He doesn't cry all day now 8 hours a day like from 0-5 months but he does cry for everything. In the high chair, car seat,pram, to get dressed, to get undressed. Your blog is very comforting.


algarveview profile image

algarveview 3 years ago from Algarve, Portugal Author

Hi, Sharon, it seems it will never stop, it seems as if our heads are about to explode and you keep hearing crying even in the 5 minutes everything is quiet, but it will get better, just think another day has gone by and you are closer to the day your baby will calm down and cry less... Take care and be patient. All the best to you and your baby!


luly 3 years ago

I have twins too...one average crying on high cryer...i can't take it any longer, he wont stop crying unless y hold him, but then There's the other baby too...i feel a terrible mother and feel that i wont be able to bond with him!!!!!


algarveview profile image

algarveview 3 years ago from Algarve, Portugal Author

Hello, Luly, I really understand how you feel, but you need to know that these difficult times will end, they grow up and all the crying just stops, so you just need to hang on. It will get better and you will bond with him. Don't feel bad. Just get some help, so you can have some rest and some hours sleep (that really makes a difference) and have a night out with the husband every now and then and when you feel you can't take it, just take a break (even 5 or 10 minutes to breath and think it will get better)... Finding someone who gets you to talk to also goes a long way... Anyway, all I can tell you is that I've been there and I know how hard it is, but I also know it gets better and it gets great at some point, so have faith, try to calm down and take care... All the best to you and your babies...

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