Babies cry more in the U.K., Canada and Italy than they do in other countries, while babies in Denmark, Germany and Japan cry the least, a new study has found.
Authors of the study in The Journal of Pediatrics compared the prevalence of colic — defined as crying more than 3 hours per day for at least three days per week — in babies during their first 12 weeks of life in different countries around the world, Reuters reports.
“Babies are already very different in how much they cry in the first weeks of life,” Dieter Wolker, one of the study’s authors, told Reuters.
The research team gathered data from other studies on crying duration for almost 8,700 infants to determine how prevalent colic is in babies.
In the U.K., 28% of babies 1 to 2 weeks old had colic, for example, while the average prevalence for that age was only 17.4%. And 34.1% of babies in Canada had colic at 3 to 4 weeks, while the average percentage was 18.4%. On the other hand, the study found 6.7% of babies in Denmark at 5 to 6 weeks had colic, much lower than the average 25.1% for that age.
The study did not determine a reason for the variation in crying time by country, but the scientists said there should be more research into potential cultural and genetic influences.