Danish Babies Cry Less than Canadian Infants – Here’s Why

Caucasian newborn looking towards camera

A recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics shows that babies born in Denmark and Japan cry significantly less than those born in Canada or the UK. The reason behind the commotion – or lack of – lies in their diet, breast milk causing newborns to cry more due to colic.

It’s a Breast vs. Bottle Situation

When tending to a newborn, parents have to face a plethora of uncertainties. However, nothing is as terrible as colic. A disease that still lacks a proper definition and diagnosing method, colic is a curse for both parents and the child. From inconsolable crying to gastrointestinal uneasiness, doctors have been trying to find the causes of the long crying episodes that some children engage in.

Now, a team of researchers from Warwick University may have found the answer. According to their study, Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: Fussing and Crying Durations and Prevalence of Colic in Infants, colic is closely linked to the child’s diet. It appears that children who are breastfed have a higher chance of crying and fussing for no reason than those who eat formula.

The Study Looked at Over 8,600 Children

The researchers worked with data obtained from three major databases: Embase, PsychINFO, and Medline. They searched for children aged 1 to 12 weeks, which experienced long intervals of unexplained fussiness.

Results showed that children between 1 and 6 weeks of age cry approximately 117-133 minutes. By 12 weeks of age, the total amount of fussiness drops to an average of 68 minutes. Colic was diagnosed in 17 to 25 percent of cases during the first 6 weeks. By 9 weeks, its prevalence dropped to 11 percent. When the children reached 12 weeks of age, the chances of having colic were of 0.6 percent.

Results Varied by Country

When the researchers divided the results by the babies’ country of origin, they found that there is quite a discrepancy between Danish or Japanese babies and Canadian and British ones.

According to the study, Canadian newborns are the unluckiest bunch as the country holds the highest rate of colic among infants. A third of babies born in Canada experience colic, crying for more than three hours for three days a week, during three consecutive weeks.

British babies come next, with 28 percent of them experiencing colic. The U.K. is followed by Italy where 1 in 5 babies fuss due to the inexplicable disorder.

At the bottom of the list lie babies born in Denmark and Japan. The researchers explained that the majority of mothers from these two countries don’t breastfeed their children, the mother’s milk being one of the main triggers of colic.

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