PURPLE Crying program prepares parents for infants' crying - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

PURPLE Crying program prepares parents for infants' crying

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St. Luke's Regional Medical Center teaches new parents why it's totally normal for children to cry through the PURPLE crying program. St. Luke's Regional Medical Center teaches new parents why it's totally normal for children to cry through the PURPLE crying program.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

We know that babies will cry, but we don't always know why. Those crying spells can be chronic and last for months. Experts say it's natural to get frustrated and think that something's just not right.

Now, a Siouxland hospital is helping new parents not to overreact. The staff at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center is decked out in purple. It's to recognize their PURPLE crying program, which teaches new parents why it's totally normal for children to cry.

"Anywhere from two to five months is common. A baby will just have random crying spells. They're inconsolable," said Michelle Jansen, assistant manager of the birth center at St. Luke's.

Every new patient who comes through the hospital gets a hand-knitted purple hat to raise awareness for the PURPLE Crying program and premature births. The hospital will continue to give these out throughout the month and until every hat is gone.

Heather Allred has a new baby, Ellie, who was born four and a half weeks early through a C-section procedure, and a new hat.

"It was a little bit scary, but she was doing really well from the time she was born, so that helped a lot," said Allred.

Stephanie Alfredson just had her second child, Aaron. She says her family was lucky to have things easy with their daughter, Audriana, but the program video taught them to be ready for anything.

"You fed the baby, you've changed it and you know they might still cry. If you're a mom, you're sleep deprived and tired and just frustrated," said Alfredson.

"Parents can get very frustrated with their infants and basically will pick them up and shake them," said Jansen.

Of course, you should never do that. Medical experts say that can lead to brain damage, and even death in some cases.

"The people in the video were awesome parents, and they just got frustrated. They shook the baby and it died," said Alfredson.

With each hat and video, medical experts are helping make sure, when the crying begins, parents know what to do, to make it through the tough times.

Those purple hats were donated by several local students and community organizations. Altogether, 637 hats were donated, so officials expect they'll be handing out those into 2013.

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