All babies cry—but according to a new study, babies in certain countries shed more tears than others.
Regardless of your child's disposition, you can pretty much bank on one thing: He or she is going to cry more often than you'd like. But here's something that could you help you keep your situation in perspective. A recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics identified the countries where children cry the most, and, well, let's just say it may make you glad you don't live in Canada.
Researchers compiled charts indicating the normal amount of crying babies should exhibit in the first three months of life and analyzed several other studies that involved 8,700 infants around the globe. They set out to learn more about how much babies cry around the world, and whether there appears to be a geographic link where crying is concerned.
The researchers found that babies cry for about two hours a day during the first six weeks. That tends to taper down to about an hour and ten minutes of crying a day by the 12-week mark. However, geography plays a big role in how much each individual baby will cry: According to the study's findings, babies in Italy, Britain, Canada and Netherlands cry the most, while infants in Germany, Denmark and Japan are comparatively fuss-free.
Not surprisingly, babies in the countries with more crying had higher rates of colic, which is defined as crying for more than three hours a day at least three days a week: Babies in the U.K., Canada and Italy were more likely to be colicky.
"Babies are already very different in how much they cry in the first weeks of life—there are large but normal variations. 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," study lead Dieter Wolke said in a release for this news. "The new chart of normal fuss/cry amounts in babies across [industrialized] 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."