If you've ever travelled with your infant to another country and wondered why all the other babies seem so quiet, science has now provided you with an answer — they're not Canadian.
According to a new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, in an investigation of 8,690 infants from primarily North American and European countries, Canadian babies are among the biggest criers, and one of the populations to most likely suffer from colic.
Colic, a vague condition experienced by otherwise healthy infants that is defined as excessive crying or fussing, is often diagnosed by the "Rule of Three": crying more than three hours a day, three days a week for three weeks or longer, notes the Mayo Clinic. And for parents of newborns, it can cause immense amounts of stress, especially because nothing they do seems to help.
The meta-analysis, led by Professor Dieter Wolke, demonstrated that Canadian babies at three to four weeks of age show a longer fussing and crying duration than babies from other countries, and as would follow, also demonstrate a higher percentage of colic during that time period. Other "high crying" countries included the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, while babies in Denmark and Germany were apparently the quietest.
“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 in a University of Warwick press release. "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."
In short, there are no answers as to why babies in Canada may have been found to cry longer and harder than those German kids, but Professor Wolke did create one helpful tool from this study — a chart that shows how long an average baby cries for the first twelve weeks of life, which can help health workers determine whether further testing and support is needed.
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The silver lining in all of this is that colic was found to almost completely cease by the time the baby is 12 weeks old, so hang in there, moms and dads. You'll get through this, no matter where your baby was born.
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