Babies cry more in these three countries than anywhere else in the world

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  • Can you guess the country where babies cry the least?

    Spare a thought for new mothers in Canada, Italy and the U.K. A study has shown that babies cry more in these three countries than anywhere else in the world.

    Conducted by Warwick University and published in The Journal of Pediatrics, the study compared instances of colic (which is defined by the NHS website as ‘excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy’) in 8,700 babies during their first 12 weeks of life in different countries around the world.

    The study found that the highest instances of colic were in Canada (34.1% of babies at 3-4 weeks), in the U.K (28% at 1-2 weeks), while in Italy it was 20.9% at 8-9 weeks.

    The lowest instances of colic were found in Denmark (5.5% at 3-4 weeks) and Germany (6.7% at 3-4 weeks).

    Why is the figure in these two countries so low?

    Professor Dieter Wolke from the University of Warwick’s department of psychology, said: ‘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.’

    Jessica Joelle Alexander, co-author of The Danish Way of Parenting, told The Guardian she’s not surprised by the results. ‘The first year of a child’s life is considered so important in Denmark and that’s such a different perspective to other countries. Danish parents are much less stressed because they get good maternity and paternity leave. The vibe is much calmer and, if mothers are getting more time off, that goes hand in hand with less stress, more contact, good routines and less crying. Oh and Danish babies sleep outdoors a lot.’

    If they’re sleeping outside maybe the Danish parents just can’t hear them crying? That’s one solution, we suppose…

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