Shaken Baby Syndrome & PURPLE Crying


Something I haven’t talked about very much on City Mom is my experience with Postpartum Depression (PPD). This debilitating condition is not something I would wish upon my worst enemy. It was a sad, devastating period in my life.

As a new mom, I felt uncertain, scared and alone. What made things worse was the inconsolable crying my new baby often exhibited. I didn’t know what to do and I was lost. I had tried everything I could think of to soothe her, but the crying didn’t stop.

Finally one day I had enough. I placed her in her crib, walked away and called my husband at work.

“I can’t do this! I need help! Come home!” I screamed into the phone.

He left work immediately and thanks to a flexible employer and an understanding government, we were able to take the next four months off together to figure things out. I needed help and I couldn’t do it alone. He was able to be there for me. He provided a life-preserver when I was drowning.

We were lucky. We had the means available to make this work for our family and we did just that. Sadly, in some cases it doesn’t turn out so well.


Fortunately there are many resources for new parents today. The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, the web site and Click for Babies are groups and initiatives in place to help raise awareness on the normal occurrence in a new baby’s life called The Period of PURPLE Crying.

PURPLE Crying is a normal developmental stage in a baby’s life that is often misdiagnosed as colic. Colic medicines are often prescribed as a remedy which only reinforces the idea that something is wrong with the baby. The phrase, Period of PURPLE Crying, has been developed to educate parents on this natural phase an infant will experience.

PURPLE is an acronym created that makes the information easy to remember for new parents. The diagram below demonstrates the meaning behind each letter.


  • Begins at 2 weeks of age and lasts until 3 to 4 months
  • All babies go through this phase; some cry more and some cry less
  • Crying tends to be more extreme in the late afternoon and evening
  • During the phase, babies can cry for hours but are still healthy and ‘normal’
  • Babies can look like they are in pain when in actuality they are not


Click for Babies is an initiative put together to help raise awareness of the Period of PURPLE Crying. This program was developed to collaborate with knitters and crocheters across North America to make PURPLE caps for babies.

Click for Babies is organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) in partnership with invited organizations in an effort to prevent infant abuse, namely Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma.


Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma (SBS/AHT) is a devastating form of abuse that happens when a person violently shakes an infant with or without impact.

Thousands of infants are injured and killed every year from being shaken. Approximately 75% of infants who are shaken suffer permanent brain injuries and 30% of infants die as a result of their injuries.


You can help with preventing this type of infant abuse by knitting PURPLE infant caps and donating them to organizations in your area that are involved with this campaign.

Visit to learn more details and guidelines for the caps.

If you don’t know how to knit you can contribute by making a donation that will help to fund the cost of the caps. You can also help to spread the word by sharing this information on your social networks. Tweet it, Buzz it, email it etc. All links are available on


Organizers in the locations below are working diligently with knitters to collect enough caps to provide to every baby born in participating hospitals through the entire month of November.

Join the campaign now! Knit from 5 to 50 or any number in between of PURPLE colored baby caps using soft baby friendly yarn and send them to organizers in your province.


British Columbia
ATTN: Claire Yambao, Provincial Program Coordinator
Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC
BC Children’s Hospital
4480 Oak Street, Room K1-201
Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4


Yay London! The London Health Sciences Centre is an active participant in this program:

Southwest Ontario
Denise Polgar
Injury Prevention Specialist Trauma Program
London Health Sciences Centre/Children’s Hospital
800 Commissioners Road East
Room E1-129
London, Ontario N6A 5W9

US contributions and general contribution information can be found on

City Mom