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Study: Babies cry less in Germany than in other countries


Country comparison shows big differences in screaming behavior
Babies appear to cry less in Germany than in other countries such as the UK and the Netherlands. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the University of Warwick after analyzing data on the crying behavior of several thousand children. According to British experts, differences in maternity protection and social support, among other things, could be reasons why children cry more in some countries than in others. The results of the investigation have now been published in the journal “The Journal of Pediatrics”.

Screaming is normal in newborns
Whether hunger, fatigue or the need for closeness: crying babies in the first few months is completely normal. But how much they scream may vary from country to country, according to a new study. Scientists from Warwick University (England) found that children roar the most in the UK, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands. On the other hand, newborns would cry least in Germany, Denmark and Japan.

Researchers are evaluating data from almost 8,700 infants
As part of a meta-analysis, the researchers led by psychologist Dieter Wolke evaluated various studies with almost 8,700 infants from nine different countries (e.g. Germany, Denmark, Japan, Canada, Italy and Great Britain), Warwick University reports in a statement. They calculated how long babies roar across different cultures within 24 hours in the first twelve weeks of life.

It was found that babies cry on average about two hours a day in the first two weeks of life. After six weeks, the value usually increases to about two hours and fifteen minutes a day and then gradually decreases to an average of one hour and ten minutes in weeks 6 to 12. The researchers discovered children who cried for less than 30 minutes within 24 hours and others who cried for more than 5 hours, the report said.

Babies in the UK are often affected by colic
However, the differences between the countries were sometimes enormous: While there was a lot of shouting in Great Britain, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands, the babies in Denmark, Germany and Japan were comparatively quiet. For Germany, for example, the researchers calculated an average value of just under 81 minutes a day for a three to four week old baby - whereas infants in Canada and the Netherlands each recorded 150 minutes of daily crying.

The researchers continued to examine in which countries the children most commonly had so-called colic - defined as crying for more than 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week. The highest values ​​were found here, among others, in Great Britain, where 28 percent of newborns were affected by colic in the first two weeks of life. In contrast, the lowest values ​​were found in Denmark (5.5% for 3-4 weeks) and Germany (6.7% for 3-4 weeks).

Bottled children cry less
The research team can only be speculated about the reasons for the country differences. Possible causes are different economic conditions such. B. less social inequality, differences in care and in the area of ​​care could also play a role.

Furthermore, it is conceivable that genetic factors and the type of feeding could have an impact on the crying behavior of newborns. Because children who were fed with the bottle or alternating between breast and bottle roared less than those who were exclusively breastfed throughout the entire day (24 hours).

“Babies are very different in terms of how much they cry in the first few weeks of life - there are big but normal variations. We can learn more by looking at cultures where there is less crying and whether this is due to education or other factors related to pregnancy experiences or genetics, ”said Professor Wolke, according to the university.

Parents need more information
It was important for parents to know how much shouting was normal in the first few months of life. However, information about this would often not even be conveyed in birth preparation courses. "Parents are often not prepared for how much babies cry or whimper in the first three months," Cloud told the news agency "dpa". In the first three months of life, around 40 percent of the roaring could even not be calmed down, explains Wolke. "Parents often think that they are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with the baby if they cannot calm it down straight away."

In some cases, the parents are overwhelmed to such an extent that serious errors arise. It is important to know that in more than 85 percent of cases of a shaking syndrome, the child's shaking was triggered by excessive crying, says Wolke. According to research, around 30 out of 100,000 babies come to the hospital due to severe shaking - usually with serious consequences such as disabilities or even death. "So parents' concerns about screaming should be taken seriously," emphasizes the psychologist.

Perception of the mothers very subjective
From the perspective of Prof. Dr. med. Sibylle Koletzko from Dr. however, the results of the meta-analysis from the Hauners Children's Hospital at the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) should be viewed with caution. Because, as the expert explained to the news agency, very different methods were used to collect the screaming behavior. Furthermore, the assessment of screaming by the mothers is very subjective, because it is culturally shaped to what extent this is considered "normal". (No)

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