DOES YOUR BABY CRY EXCESSIVELY? STUDIES REVEAL THE PARENTAL HABITS AND GEOGRAPHIC REASONS WHY
British babies are more likely to cry in their first few weeks of life than children in most other countries, a study claims.
While the exact reason why UK infants cry so much is not clear, researchers suggest that parents in Britain have a habit of being ‘quicker to respond’ to their children, making them less likely to calm themselves.
And other countries where parents may give babies more ‘skin-to-skin’ contact which is thought to be soothing to children.
Researchers at the University of Warwick’s psychology department analysed research from around the world.
Globally babies cry for around two hours per day in their first two weeks on average, the study suggests.
Crying peaks at two hours 15 mins at six weeks before reducing to one hour 10 minutes by week 12, according to the findings.
But some babies were found to cry for as little as 30 minutes – and others for more than four hours – per day.
Professor Dieter Wolke analysed studies involving 8,700 infants across countries including Germany, Denmark, Japan, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK.
He then calculated how long babies fuss and cry over a twenty four hour period.
He found that babies cry most in Canada, the UK, Italy and Netherlands. Denmark, Germany and Japan had the lowest levels of crying.Africa had an average percentage
Detailing the highest levels of crying, Dr Wolke found that among babies aged up to nine weeks 34.1 per cent of Canadian babies cried for more than three hours a day for at least three days a week, 28 per cent of UK infants, 20.9 per cent of Italian babies..and 23 per cent for Africa
In contrast just 5.5 per cent of Danish babies cry for more than three hours a day, and only 6.7 per cent of German babies.
Dr Wolke said: ‘There are several previous studies which might explain why babies in Denmark cried so much less than those in the UK.
Babies in the UK and Canada are the biggest criers in the world according to a new survey
‘They found Danish parents are a little bit more relaxed in their behaviour and less likely to respond to babies immediately, encouraging the baby to calm itself.
‘They have more bodily, skin-to-skin contact than parents in the UK, which might help soothe infants. Danish parents may have more social support due to different shared parental leave arrangements.
‘Another factor may be differences in population genetics, as in some countries people tend to be more introverted and calmer than in others.
‘People who travel to Japan often comment on how the babies can calm themselves and are better at self-soothing, which may be genetic.’
But he added: ‘Parents do need to realise, however, that over the first three months they have less influence on crying duration than they think. Africa was tricky based on the disparity of the wealthy and downright impoverished. The rich were more likely to have more contact time with their children as opposed to the less privileged who were more inclined to alleviating their condition of living than worry about the concerns of their offspring at every bawl.
‘About 40 per cent of babies’ crying in the first three months is hard to soothe and won’t change no matter what strategies they try.
‘It is important parents know that to relieve the blame they often feel about their baby’s crying.’
excerpts from dailymail