Some babies begin crying more and may be hard to settle at around 2 weeks of age. Most babies grow out of it by 16 weeks. This may be referred to as ‘colic’ or, more recently, PURPLE crying.
The letters in PURPLE stand for the common parts of non-stop crying in babies, these are:
P – peak pattern (crying peaks around 2 months of age, then decreases)
U – unpredictable (crying can come and go for no reason)
R – resistant to soothing (baby may keep crying no matter what you do to try to soothe them)
P – pain-like look on baby's face
L – long bouts of crying (crying can go on for hours)
E – evening crying (baby cries more in the afternoon and evening).
Babies who are ‘colicky’ or experience PURPLE crying will cry inconsolably for several hours at a time, without an obvious reason. They may clench their fists and draw their legs up to their tummies.
The crying episodes often occur in the late afternoon or early evening. Sometimes it ends with the passing of a bowel motion or gas, or the baby may simply cry until they fall asleep.