Dutch infants cry less than British babies, more than Germans

Babies in Britain, Canada, Italy and the Netherlands cry more than in babies in other countries, according to new research by the University of Warwick. Parents in Denmark, Germany and Japan deal with the least amount of fussing and crying, the researchers found.

The Psychology Department at Warwick Medical School formulated the first ever chart of how much babies around the world cry during the first 12 weeks of their lives. The study involved almost 8,700 babies from various countries around the world.

"Babies are already very different in how much they cry in the first weeks of life - there are large but normal variations", said Professor Dieter Wolke, lead researcher. "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."

The researchers found that on average, babies around the world cry for around 2 hours per day in their first two weeks, peak at six weeks at around 2 hours and 15 minutes and then gradually reduce to around 1 hour and 10 minutes by week 12. 

Babies in Britain, Canada and Italy cry much more than that, with some infants peaking at over 5 hours per day. The Netherlands came in fourth place. The lowest levels of crying were found in Denmark, Germany and Japan, with some babies crying for as little as 30 minutes a day.