Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The period of PURPLE crying...

P- Peak of crying. Your baby may cry more each week. The most at 2 months, then less at 3-5 months.
U-Unexpected. Crying can come and go and you don't know why.
R- Resists soothing. Your baby MAY NOT STOP crying no matter what you try.
P- Pain-like face. A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not.
L- Long lasting. Crying can last as much as 5 hours a day, or more.
E- Evening. Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening.

Before we had Teagan I felt strongly about Shaken Baby Syndrome but now that we have her it hits even closer to home. There was a story last night on the news that had been in the news before but the father recently got sentenced to 23 years in prison because he shook his baby to death. I saw the mother crying and pleading to the judge for the strongest sentence possible (and he should have gotten life if you ask me). I also feel like the situation could have been prevented all together.

We were given a dvd at the hospital that I wish I would have watched at the hospital or as soon as we got home. In no way would Josh or I ever shake Teagan out of frustration but I can understand the frustration of the unknown. You do everything you possibly can and it's still not the thing that will calm her and so she continues to cry and you feel like a faliure. There was some amazing information on the dvd...stuff they just don't tell you in the hospital or in classes that I think people should be aware of ahead of time and I feel like if they were aware then shaken baby syndrome wouldn't happen as frequently.

For example:

The first two weeks are NOT a precursor to what will happen past the first two weeks. The first two weeks can often times be almost a honeymoon period (it was for us). The babies are still kind of tired all the time and just want to eat and sleep and poop and there isn't much crying in between. Once the two week mark hits (or just around it) babies cry MORE and will do so until around 3mths with a peak at the 2 mth mark. The crying/fussiness also typically peaks in the late afternoon/evening hours. ( I had NO idea about this and we hit the two week mark last Saturday and it is so true! She started crying more and even though I knew she was going to cry I wish I would've known this BEFORE the 2 week mark because it made for a few rough nights and tears from both of us but now I know I feel so much better even when she's screaming and I can't soothe her.)

You can't always soothe your baby. You can go through "the checklist" of changing the diaper, feeding, rocking, walking, singing, checking if they're too hot or too cold, etc. and they will sometimes STILL cry. This isn't your fault and it especially IS NOT their fault, it's just something babies do. Try and think of it as them singing to you or preparation for the teenage years...

It's okay to get frustrated. It's what you do with the frustration that matters. If you feel like you are starting to get angry or too frustrated then you need to put the baby down in their crib or swing or Boppy and walk away because you being frustrated only makes them cry worse. So, take a break, calm down and then come back.

There was more information but those were the three things that really stuck out to me. I really feel like new moms and dads need this information and I've decided to advocate for awareness of this because I feel like if people are informed BEFORE the baby comes then we'll have less cases of shaken baby.