American babies are average… when it comes to crying

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What’s the one thing new parents should wonder when their little ones are crying? “What are they doing differently in Denmark?”

There’s new data out in the Journal of Pediatrics [jpeds.com] that analyzes 28 previous studies that measured infants with colic. Colic is a harmless condition, but it makes babies cry, often for extended periods of time. 

Out of 8,700 infants from industrialized nations, babies in Canada, the UK, and Italy cried the most. 

American babies were right in the middle. Meanwhile, babies in Germany, Japan, and Denmark cried the least. 

The study’s authors said cultural parenting styles were most likely the cause. Feeding patterns, soothing techniques, and caregiving methods could all play a part. 

Regardless of how the countries ranked, the study is good news for all new parents because it provides a baseline for a “normal” range of crying. It also provides a glimmer of hope. Across the board, hours of crying peaked around the six-week mark (2 hours and 15 minutes per day) and gradually decreased by week 12 (1 hour and 10 minutes per day).

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