Babies born in Britain cry more than those born in other parts of the world, a new study has found.
In the first attempt to create a “universal” crying chart, researchers at the University of Warwick found babies in Canada, Italy and Netherlands also cry noticeably more than those born in other countries.
On average, they found babies around the world cry for around two hours per day in first two weeks and peak at two hours 15 mins at six weeks.
This crying reduces to one hour 10 minutes by week 12.
Professor Dieter Wolke did a meta-analysis of studies involving almost 8,700 infants in countries around the world published in ‘The Journal of Pediatrics’.
He calculated the average of how long babies fuss and cry per 24 hours across different cultures.
Some infants were found to cry as little as 30 minutes, and others over five hours, in 24 hours.
Wolke’s results showed that babies cry the most in the UK, Italy, Canada, and the Netherlands and the lowest levels of crying were found in Denmark, Germany and Japan.
The highest levels of colic – defined as crying more than three hours a day for at least three days a week in a baby- were found in the UK (28% of infants at 1-2 weeks), Canada (34.1% at 3-4 weeks of age) and Italy (20.9% at 8-9 weeks of age).
In contrast, lowest colic rates were reported in Denmark (5.5% at 3-4 weeks) and Germany (6.7% at 3-4 weeks).
“Babies are already very different in how much they cry in the first weeks of life – there are large but normal variations,” said Professor Wolke.
“We may learn more from looking at cultures where there is less crying and whether this may be due to parenting or other factors relating to pregnancy experiences or genetics.
“The new chart of normal cry amounts in babies across industrialised countries will help health professionals to reassure parents whether a baby is crying within the normal expected range in the first three months or shows excessive crying which may require further evaluation and extra support for the parents.”