Being a parent is painful when your baby starts crying and you don’t know what to do about it. Parents know that if their child cries, it is because of some reason – the child needs to be fed nappy needs to be changed, or the baby is just scared of being left alone.
Usually, if the baby is three months old or younger, the reason behind his or her cries could be colic. Colic is a crying, which lasts more than three hours a day for at least three days. This usually happens in babies until they’re three months old.
Studies show that colic is very common among babies. A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics has observed that babies from countries such as the UK, Canada and Italy cry more than those from other countries. Babies from Denmark, Germany and Japan show lower signs of crying in comparison to other countries. This is the first universal chart of its kind, which shows the average durations of a baby’s crying during the first three months of life.
The University of Warwick conducted research covering nearly 8,700 babies. Their observations found that a baby, on an average, cries for about two hours a day during the first two weeks of life.
Furthermore, it was observed that the baby’s cry peaks during the sixth week. During this time it stretches to 2 hours and 15 seconds a day. However, this duration drops at about 12 weeks to one hour and 10 minutes. The study also discovered that there are differences in infant cries as well, ranging at as little as 30 minutes to five hours in a day.
Dieter Wolker, an author who was part of the study, says, “Babies are already very different in how much they cry in the first weeks of life.
“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.”
Wolker suggests that this new chart may help ease the worry among parents regarding their child’s cry.
The common conviction is that colicky crying occurs when the baby takes in too much air during activities like suckling during breastfeeding. This extra air contributes to discomfort in the stomach. The study mentions that “bottle or mixed feeding was associated with reduced duration of fussing and crying or colic from three to four weeks of age onward”.
A similar study vouches for the practice where the baby is left to self-soothe for a minute or two before trying to pacify them.
The first few months of parenthood are stressful. Hearing your child cry and being unable to help your child or ease the cries makes it worst. The real reason behind colic is yet to be discovered and this contributes to parental frustration. These pointers are worth a shot if it means that you can calm your baby’s cries with ease.