Babies who persistently cry are more likely to become problem children with behavioural disorders, researchers say.
According to their study, around one in five infants is ‘difficult’, with excessive crying and problems sleeping and feeding – and many will go on to be difficult children.
It found babies with these issues were 40 per cent more likely to grow up to display unruly behaviour, including attention deficithyperactivitydisorder – ADHD.
Researchers carried out an analysis of 22 studies from 1987 to 2006 which involving a total of 16,848 children, of whom 1,935 showed problems in infancy.
The subjects were followed up to see if they displayed behavioural issues in childhood, including ADHD, anxiety, depression, withdrawal, aggression, destructive behaviour, temper tantrums and general conduct problems.
The report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood medical journal concluded that the more problems a baby had, the more likely he or she was to become a child with behaviour problems.
Professor Wolke said the solution for such babies was to give them more routine in their lives, adding: ‘We have evidence that it works.’