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Cranky babies may make problem children--study

Researchers found that infants with persistent crying were more likely to have ADHD and bad behavior compared to other behavioral problems.

Babies do cry and it's normal, but watch out for persistent crying, as a new study states that infants who cry excessively and have problems with sleeping or feeding are at higher risk of suffering from behavioral problems when they grow up.

According to the research findings published online April 20 in 'Archives of Disease in Childhood,' infants with regulatory problems may have behavioral issues like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression or withdrawal, temper tantrums, aggressive or destructive behavior in childhood.

"Crying, particularly beyond three months of age, or if they don't sleep very well, or if they've got feeding problems - it's the second most frequent reason why parents go to the doctor,” stated Professor Dieter Wolke, University of Warwick, also co-author of study.

Researchers found that constant crying and difficulties in sleeping and feeding increased the risk of behavioral problems by 40 percent.

Over 16,000 babies studied
To reach the study findings, researchers at Warwick University, the University of Basel in Switzerland, and the University of Bochum in Germany analyzed 22 studies from from 1987 to 2006 that tried to determine the link between baby crying and behavioral problems.

These studies collectively involved 16,848 babies. Out of these, 1935 babies cried excessively and had problems with sleeping and feeding.

The babies were followed over the years to see of they developed behavioral problems in their chidhood.

Persistent crying ups ADHD risk
Researchers found that constant crying and difficulties in sleeping and feeding increased the risk of behavioral problems by 40 percent.

They also noticed that infants with persistent crying were more likely to have ADHD and bad behavior compared to other behavioral problems.

Further, the more problems babies had, the more likely they were to suffer from behavioral issues later in life.

“The evidence from this systematic review suggests that those with persisting regulatory problems in families with other problems may require early interventions to minimize or prevent the long-term consequences of infant regulatory problems," stated study authors.

At the same time they called for more follow up studies of disturbed infants, and “reliable assessment” of regulatory problems in infancy.