I've had the movie Babies sitting in my Netflix queue for quite a while now. I decided to watch it last night (instant streaming of movies is a wonderful thing). I have to say this movie did not live up to the hype for me but it was a very interested study of the cultural differences in child rearing.
This film follows 4 babies for their first year of life. Each child comes from a different country and different economic background. While there are certain things I could not see doing with my own kids (tethering a baby to a bed post so it can't wander off or letting a child wander around in a field full of cattle and other animals and their assorted manure), I was struck by the fact that in the developing countries the babies were pretty much always kept right with mom. If mom was there, so was baby. But in the developed countries, baby was often entertained with something else. Elaborate Mommy and Me classes, every toy and book under the sun, just about anything other than mom. Yup, it left me feeling a tad sorry for the children from developed countries because frankly, babies are happier when they are with mom. The baby from the US tried to make a break for it and escape her Mommy and Me music class and I found myself saying "yup, I'd want to get the heck out of their too, kid."
Not a bad movie to watch if you have an hour to kill. It definitely will help me to rethink the need to buy all sorts of gadgets, baby toys and assorted junk for young kids in the future.