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SD Program Helps New Parents

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Whether you're a parent or not, you've probably heard a baby cry at the top of their lungs for a long period of time and this noise is so common, the South Dakota Attorney General's office launched a new program called the “Period of Purple Crying.”


This program is designed to help parents understand the period of time in their baby's life where they might be crying frequently, while at the same time informing parents about the dangers of shaking an infant.


The individual letters in the word purple stand for a handful of things to help educate parents, such as the letter "P" standing for the “peak” of crying and the letter "E" standing for “evening,” the time period where a baby might cry the most.


For the Howe family who gave birth at 8:50 a.m. Monday, this information is just another tool to help them transition into parenthood.


"We're very excited for this new adventure life has for us," said Betsy Howe.


Betsy and Nathan Howe invited another addition to their family, baby Bryce, weighing seven pounds, 11 ounces.


These high school sweethearts from Garretson, already have a two-and-a-half year old boy named Benton, a little blondie, full of life.


"Seeing them, their interaction between each other and just knowing that we created this and you get to help bring somebody into this life," said Howe.


The Howe's have their hands full and say they welcome any help and education they can get along the way,

Including a new program called the "Period of Purple Crying," aimed to help parents understand excessive crying is a normal part of growth.


"A lot of parents, they just get frustrated when they don't or don't have the education of what is normal, what isn't normal. This program will really help set boundaries for people, even the care takers of who will be around the new baby too," said Howe.


Connie Schmidt, Director of Child's Voice, said infant crying peaks around two weeks of age and can continue up until five to six months of age, which could cause some parents to get frustrated, leading them to act out in a negative way, such as shaking the baby to stop crying.


"One baby being shaken is one too many and so we're trying to eliminate this completely in South Dakota. Our goal is that 80% of the children, the babies that are born in South Dakota, that their parents would receive this education," said Schmidt.


“It’s a message that can't be out there enough," said Howe.


For Howe and her family, this program is extremely useful and will help them transition into their new chapter of life, being newborn parents for the second time in just over two years.


"I think there will be a little bit of craziness in our house with two boys, but we're excited and we have lots of help so we're very blessed," said Howe.


The program includes this 10 minute educational video and brochure, requiring all new parents to view them prior to leaving the hospital.


The program follows 25 years of research from scientists worldwide.


For more information about the PURPLE program, contact NCSBS at 801-447-9360 or email PURPLE@dontshake.org.


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