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Newborns in UK cry most, Kingston University study finds

 
  • Some 28% of babies born in the UK have colic; defined as persistent crying
  • Canadian youngsters suffer the most, with 34.1% having the condition 
  • Yet, in Japan, only 2.1% of babies suffer with excessive crying in early life
  • Researchers believe this may be due to differences in how parents respond
  • Breastfed babies cry more, which may be due to them waking more frequently 

Alexandra Thompson Health Reporter For Mailonline

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Youngsters in the UK are among the world’s teariest babies, with 28 per cent suffering from excessive, frequent crying, new research reveals.

Yet, Canada takes the lead, with 34.1 per cent of its babies suffering from the condition, known as colic, a study found. 

Japan has the lowest levels, with just 2.1 per cent of youngsters having the disorder, the research adds.

Researchers believe the different rates of the condition around the world may be due to how parents respond when their baby cries.

They also found that breastfed babies cry more, which be due to them breaking down their food quicker, causing them to wake more frequently and make a racket.

Youngsters in the UK are among the  teariest, with 28 per cent suffering from excessive crying

Youngsters in the UK are among the  teariest, with 28 per cent suffering from excessive crying

Youngsters in the UK are among the teariest, with 28 per cent suffering from excessive crying

How the study was carried out  

Researchers from Kingston University London conducted a review of 28 existing studies from across Europe, North America and Japan with a total of 8,690 babies.

They analysed the prevalence of colic in youngsters for the first three months of life.

Colic was defined as crying for at least three hours a day for three days a week. 

Key findings  

Results, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, revealed that 34.1 per cent of babies born in Canada suffer from colic in early life.

UK babies are the second most likely to suffer, with 28 per cent having the condition. 

Italian youngsters come in third, with colic affecting 20.9 per cent of the nation’s babies.

Japan has the lowest levels, with just 2.1 per cent suffering from colic.

Danish and German babies are also relatively unaffected, with 5.5 per cent having the disorder. 

The findings also revealed that breastfed babies cry more than those given a bottle.  

Researchers believe different rates of colic globally may be due to how parents respond

Researchers believe different rates of colic globally may be due to how parents respond

Researchers believe different rates of colic globally may be due to how parents respond

MOTHERS IN UNHAPPY RELATIONSHIPS ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE BABIES WITH COLIC 

A study published in May suggests that a mother’s happiness in her relationship and her level of social support may determine her baby’s risk of colic.

The findings also revealed the support fathers give their partners plays a significant role in their child’s risk of the condition.

And, perhaps surprisingly, single mothers appear to have the lowest risk of having a child with colic. 

Senior study author Professor Kristen Kjerulff, from Pennsylvania State University, said: ‘If you don’t have a partner you can still have lots of social support, lots of love, and lots of happy relationships, and all of that’s going to be better for the baby. 

‘Love makes a difference.’ 

Why is there a difference?

Study author Professor Samara said: ‘One study that compared Danish and UK babies crying found that Danish parents respond more quickly when the baby cries compared to British parents. 

‘It found that parents in the UK had less physical contact with their infants, including when their baby is crying and also when awake and settled.

‘Also, in Denmark, fathers are given reduced hours to work in order to help support the mother more in those first weeks’.

Breastfed babies are thought to suffer more as they break down their food quicker, causing them to wake more frequently and therefore cry.

How is the research useful?

The researchers hope their findings will help to develop a diagnostic tool that alerts doctors and parents when babies are crying more than is expected.

This may urge parents to seek medical advice and support, they added. 

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