purple-capped-babyNewborns are being outfitted with purple hats at hospitals around the state this month. The campaign is part of a national effort to help parents cope with crying babies. Alyssa Hague is an assistant nurse manager at Mercy Medical Center’s Birthplace in Cedar Rapids. “For every baby that’s born, they’re getting a purple knitted hat to try and raise awareness about the ‘period of purple crying’ and reduce the risk of Shaken Baby Syndrome,” Hague says.

Research shows that frustration with a crying infant is the number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants. Hague says it’s important for parents and caregivers to realize that a certain amount of crying during the first few weeks and months of life is normal. “It can be frustrating, but they’re not doing anything wrong and their baby isn’t doing anything wrong,” Hague says.

Coping with a crying baby can be difficult, so Hague suggests calling on another family member or a neighbor to watch the child if frustration levels are running high.

“If that’s not an option, because you’re alone with your child, then put them in their crib because that’s a safe place,” Hague says. “It’s okay to leave them for 10 minutes, reset your clock a little bit, get yourself in a better frame of mind and go back your baby.”

Volunteer knitters and crocheters have donated thousands of purple caps for the campaign. More information about the Period of PURPLE Crying program is available online at: PURPLEcrying.info.