New research into the amount of time that infants in various countries spend crying found that the littlest ones in usually placid Canada were the most colicky. British babies came in second, followed by Italy. The most tranquil tots, meanwhile, live in Denmark and Germany. Writing in the Journal of Pediatrics, psychologists at the University of Warwick analyzed 28 previous studies of some 8,700 infants to measure colic—a harmless, if nerve-jangling, condition—by gauging crying times during the first 12 weeks. The longest crying jags were clocked in Canada, reports the Guardian, where 34.1% of babies wailed more than three hours a day, at least three days a week. In the UK, the tally was 28% and in Italy 20.9%. Relatively blissful Danish babes scored 5.5%, with Germany at 6.7%.
The first-of-its kind analysis found that babies the world over cry around two hours a day for the first weeks, peaking at two hours and 15 minutes at six weeks. Happily for stressed-out new parents everywhere, crying time is halved by week 12, per a press release. Lead researcher Dieter Wolke says parents in countries with low colic scores are less likely to intervene when baby starts crying, allowing the infant to self-soothe. "They don’t get all worried about it," Wolke tells the Telegraph. Then again, he notes, Danish babies may enjoy a bit of "genetic bias" since their country consistently ranks at the top of wellness surveys. In any case, new parents should learn to chill. "If you are not relaxed you are not going to be any use to your baby," Wolke says. (Crying saved this baby's life.)