Apparently 20% of modern babies experience 'colic' "When crying lasts for longer than about three hours a day and is not caused by a medical problem", and these babies show signs of gastrointestinal inflammation. Certain probiotics caused these babies to cry less. Gut inflammation of course makes me suspect grains and excess fructose as culprits.
So I was wondering what amount of baby crying is normal, given a fully nourishing and non-toxic diet? It seems odd to me that such constant pain and suffering would be the default nature of humans, for any stage of their development. I also wonder if such frequent negative affect has any long-term influence on personality/brain development.
I recall a video overviewing some modern, traditional-living humans, claiming that the babies these mothers carried on their backs hardly ever made a peep, but i couldn't find a link for that.
Diet is important, but consider the following quote from Melvin Konner (anthropologist, famous from work with bushmen and work with paleo pioneer Eaton, and husband of the late Marjorie Shostak, anthropologist):
Hunter-gatherer childhood was characterized by close physical contact, maternal primacy in a dense social context, indulgent and responsive infant care, frequent nursing, weaning between two and four years of age, high overall indulgance, multiaged child groups, variable responsibility in childhood, and relative weak control of adolescant sexuality. These appear durable features of the model. Departure from them since the end of the hunting-gathering era constitute a discordance and may have psychological and biological consequences that merit further study.
(from Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods, Hewlett and Lamb, p.63-64)
Now there seems to be a lot of discordance between then and now. All possible reasons for infant crying...
Btw, very interesting book, although quite academic.
Our cave-boy is pretty much with his Mamma 24/7. At about 6/7 months we started slipping out of the house for dinner/movie for up to 3 hours a whack (after he nursed), leaving him with aunties or Grandparents, once a week. I bet his average for wailing/fussing a day is on the order of 20 minutes. He's at 10 months now and still 90% breastfed, with some solid food munching from our plates and chewed up stuff. He/we are lucky he can be with Mom or family as the default setting.
When I drank cows milk and nursed my baby cried all the time. It took me awhile to figure you the connection. When I stopped consuming milk the crying stopped. I was not paleo back then but ate mostly home cooked meals.
Baby number 2 & 3, didn't get the colic because I had learned my lesson. My cousin is a pediatrician and she said the the foods I ate did not cause colic, well, I just don't agree with that, or what they experience is not "colic", but it made an immediate difference.
In my opinion, after the baby's needs are met, food(mother's milk), clothing, cuddling, diaper dry, warmth, they would stop crying. However, they do miss their mama when they are attached to the breast making outings a little bit harder for the sitter.
I called my babies, "baby barnacles." always, attached to the hip.
There are some interesting studies linking dairy consumption in nursing mothers to baby gut discomfort. Apparently some milk proteins 'cross the divide'. I'm worry I can't find the links right now.
We carried our second child a lot, and she cried less. Just not too practical unfortunately!
I'm on my phone and can't provide links but there's many studies on the fact babies in more primitive tribes never experience colic or even any time of prolonged crying. This has a lot to do with breastfeeding on demand and "babywearing".
Same experience as others. Younger boy had colic, pretty much stopped completely when my wife gave up dairy. We tested twice, and got a pretty much immediate reaction both times. The only other thing we noticed set him off was some really, really hot thai food.
Sounds like I should try to forgo dairy with the next baby. I developed an unhealthy obsession with tapioca pudding for a few months after giving birth, but if it means not feeling that helplessness of holding a screaming baby that can't be soothed I think I could switch over to coconut milk and banana smoothies.
I didn't try to change my diet at the time because all the books I had said the mother's diet wouldn't effect colic. We did take him to see a chiropractor who did some mysterious deep belly massage and gentle neck adjustments for 3 visits and the colic disappeared within a week. I have no idea how it worked, but was quite relieved.