Period of PURPLE Crying

In collaboration with The West Virginia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Team for West Virginia Children, and Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia, Our Babies Safe and Sound is leading the charge to implement a statewide abusive head trauma prevention program that will offer a comprehensive public awareness and education to all caregivers of infants. Caregivers should know increased infant crying is normal, explain how the risk increased crying has for potential of abusive head trauma, and offer coping skills to caregivers of infants with increased crying during the first five months of life PREVENTING and reducing the number of abusive head trauma incidences.

The primary goal is to reduce the incidence of abusive head trauma. To meet this goal Our Babies Safe and Sound partners are offering ALL caregiver’s prevention education in the following ways:

  • WV Birth Facilities will be encouraged to deliver Dose I: The Period of PURPLE Crying® program to caregivers before infants are discharged from hospital. Dose I consists of DVD packet and booklet.
  • Caregivers are given Dose II- The Period of PURPLE Crying® Program as reinforcement of the prevention education given in Dose I at any sick, well baby checks within the first month of life AND during any home visits after birth from all West Virginia Home Visitation Programs. Dose II includes a DVD and booklet package (if not given during Dose I.
What is The Period of PURPLE Crying®?

The Period of PURPLE Crying® program is an evidence-based shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma (SBS/AHT) prevention program available since 2007. The program has two aims:

  1. To support parents and caregivers in their understanding of early increased infant crying
  2. To reduce the incidence of SBS/AHT

The program approaches SBS/AHT and infant abuse prevention by helping parents and caregivers understand the frustrating features of crying in normal, healthy infants that can lead to shaking or abuse. The program provides the opportunity for parents to learn about the crying characteristics from over 50 years of research on normal infant crying conducted by Dr. Ronald G. Barr, and other scientists worldwide.

The letters in PURPLE stand for:

eak of crying – Your baby may cry more each week, the most in month 2, then less in months 3-5

nexpected- Crying can come and go and you don’t know why

esists soothing- Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try

ain-like face- A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not

ong lasting- Crying can last as much as 5 hours a day, or more

vening- Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening

For more information please visit:


The following is a list of published research with The Period of PURPLE Crying®:

Barr, R. G., Rivara, F. P., Barr, M., Cummings, P., Taylor, J., Lengua, L. J., & Meredith-Benitz, E. (2009). Effectiveness of Educational Materials Designed to Change Knowledge and Behaviors Regarding Crying and Shaken-Baby Syndrome in Mothers of Newborns: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Pediatrics, 123(3), 972-980.

Barr, R. G., Barr, M., Fujiwara, T., Conway, J., Catherine, N., & Brant, R. (2009). Do educational materials change knowledge and behaviour about crying and shaken baby syndrome? A randomized controlled trial. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 180(7), 727-733.

Fujiwara, T., Yamada, F., Okuyama, M., Kamimaki, I., Shikoro, N., & Barr, R. G. (2012). Effectiveness of educational materials designed to change knowledge and behavior about crying and shaken baby syndrome: A replication of a randomized controlled trial in Japan. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36(9), 613-620.

Training Opportunities:

Our Babies Safe & Sounds provides in-person training The Period of PURPLE Crying®

For more information about available online trainings please click on the link below:

For more information about in-person training opportunities in West Virginia please contact The Period of PURPLE Crying® Coordinator for West Virginia, Candice Hamilton at

This program is being presented with financial assistance as a grant to the TEAM for West Virginia.
Children from the WV Department of Health and Human Resources
and funding support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia
Partners in Community Outreach West Virginia
Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children West Virgnia
West Virginia Infant Toddler Mental Health Association
Healthy Families Mountain State West Virginia