The Period of PURPLE Crying and how ‘Wine Friday’ came about
For those of you that know my family personally you will know that today is ‘Wine Friday’. Yeah! This weekly occasion came about when my baby was around two months old. He was a very fussy baby and cried up to 8+ hours a day and smacked me right into motherhood with no transition period. Is there a transition period? I knew that babies cried. Of course! I expected it. However, I did not know any other friends who babies cried like my baby son did. You could not put him down. No stroller rides outside to calm the sweet baby. No amount of jiggling or rocking or all the 1,000 other tricks we tried. He would just cry. Seriously we tried everything you could think of. People would give us helpful tips and I would stare at them thinking, ‘don’t you think I have tried that?’. Seriously. It was hard. I even borrowed a rocking chair. Anything to try and help.
My husband was stellar. Donning a sling and wearing our baby to calm him down. Baby Ben loved it. Nestled right in he would soon relax and sleep. At first the sling was sort of sweet and we wanted to do it. The novelty wore off and the sling soon became a necessity in our lives as new parents. He was in a sling for a good chunk of the day and in the evening. It was the only way our crying fussy baby would sleep and stay asleep. The next step was that both of us had a sling and we had a spare in case a kind sister or friend would wear one. Which they did! You can actually do a lot of things while your baby sleeps in a sling. It was a true sanity saver.
I remember one fine night in late November as a 11 PM approached and Ben had been crying since around 8 PM. I had him in the sling and was wearing a thick pink robe. I was doing the fussy baby dance with the ‘shhh shhh shhh’ song. I was trying all my calming techniques to get this baby to stop crying. The dancing was working up a sweat and so was the thick robe. The body heat started to make my milk flow. So here I am. Dancing with my crying baby. Sweating like crazy with milk dripping down and out of my robe onto the hardwood. I hated this moment. I wanted it to be over. Please go to sleep sweet baby!
He did. At 1:30 AM when my husband took him out for a sling walk in the cool night air. The first few months of Ben’s life are much of a blur for me because of the crying and the resulting sleep deprivation and insanity. Of course I have learned a handful of lessons from this as a parent. One lesson is that ‘Wine Friday’ is a perfect compensation for parenting a high needs fussy baby. It is just a bottle of wine shared between my husband and me and it was something I looked forward to all week long during those long hours of crying.
The crying was not because of reflux or other medical issues that people told us to get checked out. He was healthy. Eating well. He just cried. We learned that this was NORMAL. That some babies just cry and to go with it because there will be an end. Umm..it didn’t feel normal. We already knew all about the period of P.U.R.P.L.E crying because of my job as a maternity RN. However, it is easy to talk to people about this potential period and another thing to live it. We have lived it!
P – peak pattern (crying peaks around 2 months, then decreases)
U – unpredictable (crying for long periods can come and go for no reason)
R – resistant to soothing (the baby may keep crying for long periods)
P – pain-like look on face
L – long bouts of crying (crying can go on for hours)
E – evening crying (baby cries more in the afternoon and evening)
Yep! That was my baby. Each and every letter! Ben doesn’t cry like he used to but he is a really active baby. The crying started to go down when he was around 4.5 months old. He has a lot of personality. We have kept going with ‘Wine Friday’ and I think it will stick around. So, cheers to you! Happy Wine Friday y’all!