Moms, You're Not Imagining It. Canadian Babies Do Cry More Than Most
It’s no secret that Canadians excel at many things. Our hockey is unequalled, our coffee is on point, and our trees sweat maple syrup. Our beer is delicious, our Prime Minister is dreamy, our milk comes in bags, KD is better than Mac and Cheese, we have a better view of Niagara Falls, and we gave the world Ryan Reynolds AND Ryan Gosling (you’re welcome.) We don’t often brag about how awesome we are because we are also the best at being humble and polite, but we rock, and we all know it.
As it turns out, Canadians are great at something else that we didn't even know about (although sleep-deprived young moms might have had a sneaking suspicion). We cry really well. At least we do in the first few weeks of our lives. According to a meta-analysis study published Monday in the Journal of Pediatrics, Canadian babies cry more than babies in most other countries until they are three to four weeks old when they lose steam and drop down to an average rate of crying. This should come as no shock to most Canadians who are used to seeing their fellow citizens getting super riled up for three weeks, then giving up and moving on.
At one-month-old, Canadian babies cried an average of 32 extra minutes a day than the overall average, and almost twice as many were colicky (34 per cent versus an overall average of 18 per cent).
The study didn’t set out to expose our cranky Canucks, but rather to explore the “crying curve”—the idea that crying gradually increases until it peaks at five to six weeks, then decreases again, finally petering out around nine weeks. Canadian babies are just a little precocious. (No word yet on the plans for a study showing it peaking again a few decades later while participating in online comment sections).
So why are Canadian babies so upset anyway? Why the meltdowns? Sure, there are some theories regarding genetics, parenting approaches, and feeding types, but why Canadian babies specifically? I discussed this conundrum with some friends, and we have some theories.
Target is gone. Target was a gift to Canada, cruelly taken too soon, and Canadian moms are still not over it. Surely there is some chance this collective weeping over the loss of our beloved store could transfer to babies in the womb.
International shipping is a beast. Sorry, baby, you can’t have that awesome swing that is on sale because shipping would cost more than our car. If we do splurge, it’s going to get stuck at the border and take weeks. Perhaps that’s why the crying stops at three to four weeks, that’s how long it takes our order to arrive.
Going for a walk requires a meteorologist degree. Look, kid. I know it took two hours to get you into this snowsuit, and we’ve only been out for 20 minutes, but there’s been another weather shift and I forgot to bring the sunscreen.
Caillou. We don’t like to admit it, but Canada is responsible for that monstrosity. It is our responsibility to show it to our children as a cautionary tale so this mistake is never repeated.
No teeth for poutine. I’d cry too.
Whatever the reason, Canadian babies freak out a little more than the average baby for the first few weeks. But like all good Canadians, they are really sorry about it.