Consideration 40 - Colic Calculations

800 screaming infants, all day long, in Canada

Last year, in Canada, there were 385777 live births.

Let’s do the math for colic.

“Colic affects 10–40% of children”.[1]


“Colic is defined as episodes of crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week for at least three-week duration in an otherwise healthy child.[8] It is most common around six weeks of age and gets better by six months of age.[8] By contrast, infants normally cry an average of just over two hours a day, with the duration peaking at six weeks.[8] With colic, periods of crying most commonly happen in the evening and for no obvious reason.[1] Associated symptoms may include legs pulled up to the stomach, a flushed face, clenched hands, and a wrinkled brow.[8] The cry is often high pitched (piercing).” Wikipedia

Let’s speculate that the infant cries for 4 hours a day. Let’s speculate that the infant cries four days per week. Let’s speculate that the infant cries for 5 weeks.

This infant will have cried for 4 x 4 x 5 = 80 total hours

385777 x .3[% of infants with colic] = 115733 crying infants x 80 = 9258648 total hours of crying.

A year has, 24 x 365 = 8760 hours in a year.

9258648 divided by 8760 equals 1057 infants crying every hour. Now if we assume that 70% of colic is found in formula fed infants, then .7 x 1057 produces 740 crying babies. These are formula fed infants.

“Of course, some babies are colic overachievers, wailing for far more hours, days and even weeks at a time….Some experts believe that colic is the result of an allergy to milk protein (or lactose intolerance) in formula-fed babies.”

Crying is the number 1 reason for shaken baby syndrome

I would also question a “normal infant” crying for 2 hours a day. My children did not cry for 15 minutes a day. Perhaps the readers of this document could provide their hours per day of crying in breastfed infants. Parents with formula fed infants could provide their infant’s hours of crying per day.