Local volunteers at the Blue Heron Knittery, downtown Decorah, knitted over 20 purple hats for November-born newborns at Winneshiek Medical Center. From left (front row): Anna Linnell and Sarah Iversen, store owner; (back row): Marie Freerking and Karen Fitton. Volunteers not pictured are Christine McConnell, JoAn Stevenson, Jan Palmer, Janelle Fulsaas and Judy McIntosh. (Submitted photo)
Purple newborn caps replaced the traditional pink and blue on the tiny heads of infants at Winneshiek Medical Center in November as part of the national Click for Babies campaign.
The Click for Babies campaign aims to educate new parents about a program called The Period of Purple Crying, a normal period in an infant's development when they cry more than any other time. The hand-knitted caps, donated by knitters from the Blue Heron Knittery in Decorah, are a way to remind local parents about the normalcy of early infant crying and how to cope with it. WMC collaborates with HAWC Partnerships for Children for educational materials that support this program.
The Period of Purple Crying begins at about two weeks of age and continues until about three to four months. All babies go through this period; however some may cry more than others. PURPLE stands for:
P - Peak of crying: Your baby may cry more each week; the most at two months, then less at four to months 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 do.
P - Pain-like face: A crying baby may look like they're in pain, even though they're not.
L - Long lasting: Crying can last as much as five hours a day or more.
E - Evening: Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening.
Denise Duffy, the nurse manager in the Winneshiek Medical Center Obstetrics Department, says "shaken baby syndrome can, many times, be prevented with appropriate education. Obstetric nurses at Winneshiek Medical Center have received training on the Period of Purple Crying; knowledge we passed along to our delivering families during the November awareness month and throughout the year."
To learn more about the Period of Purple Crying go to: Purplecrying.info.