Yay!! We finally got our chance to watch it. It was only in the theater briefly here so we had to wait until it came out on dvd and I purchased it this week so Adam and I could watch it while in the hotel and it was everything I had hoped it would be!!!
Here is the trailer to just fill you in if you haven’t heard of it (it is only 2 minutes long)…It is a movie but has no narration.
There are a few things that we found so interesting but not at all surprising.
- The births: the baby from San Francisco must have had something wrong (they didn’t show anything of that) but they showed all sorts of monitors hooked to her and IVs plus we noticed little bruises, etc. Were they pointing our technology in the US? We also noticed the birth from Mongolia to be a very detached birth. In that I mean the mother didn’t even hold the baby after birth. The most “skin-to-skin” type of birth (which research all over the world has shown is the best) was the one in Namibia, Africa.
- Bonding with babe: Everyone seemed to bond with their baby pretty well except once again in Mongolia. That isn’t to say they didn’t it just wasn’t as frequent. In fact, that infant stayed on its back the majority of its infancy…on the same bed, literally.
- Bathing: Mongolia was in a bucket. San Francisco in a shower, even a Hot Tub at one point! Namibia has pretty much no water so as gross as this seems the mother was literally spit cleaning the infant.
- Toys: The infant from Namibia played with rocks, bones, sticks~even was teething on these. The one in Mongolia didn’t really play with anything as he was always bundled up tight on his back until he was almost a year old. The infants from Tokyo and San Fran had you name it at their disposal for toys. And, they went to all sorts of organized play groups as infants…and in each of these groups they seemed overwhelmed. In our favorite scene (close to the infants birthdays) it shows the infant from Tokyo sitting in her room surrounded by all of these wonderful toys and she is picking up one and can’t get it to do quite what she wants it to and gets frustrated and throws herself on the floor and crys, then grabs another and this continues on….and the movie flashes over to the infant in Mongolia who *SURPRISE* is no longer on his back but is now sitting up on the floor but tied to the bed so as not to get into danger I assume but he was able to reach a roll of TP and man oh man was he having a ball! He was giggling and smiling….all with a roll of TP. And they kept going back and forth between this little guy having fun with TP to the little frustrated girl in her toy-store like bedroom throwing herself on her floor over and over again.
- Medical care: everyone had it except for Namibia. Even in Mongolia there was a nurse/doctor home visit that weighed the infant, etc.
- Development: The producer did a good job at spanning across all four infants and comparing that they all do the same things at the same time pretty much no matter where they are EXCEPT for the infant from Mongolia. Poor guy….he was late to walk. And, I really really wonder if this isn’t because he spent probably the first nine months of his life bundled up tight on his back (in fact I am sure this is why). And is this how they raise their infants (as in a belief) or is it because his mama was so busy working outside~she was seen milking cows at one time??? The movie actually ended with the lil’ guy finally standing and gaining his balance….it was great!
- Odds & Ends: Clothing is so over-rated. 🙂 These Namibians and Mongolians have this figured out….The mother of the infant in Namibia wouldn’t let his hair grow out. In fact she kept it short with a knife. I especially found the pacifier that they gave the Mongolian baby fascinating: it appeared to be a piece of intestine with a match stick to prevent him from sucking it to deep (ingenious!)-hee hee.
These are just a few of my observations that I can remember right off hand…a great movie that everyone should see. I have a friend that uses some of the Montessori principles for play with her little one. I like the one where you do not have gazillions of toys/books out for the child at any given time. They can get so over-stimulated. Adam and I talked a little bit about this actually last night after watching the movie and he was all about it….especially after the hilarious TP scene…
Overall I think in the US we are overstimulated and therefore it is hard for us in general to “slow down” for an extended period of time without getting antsy~and I am saying this as an adult so imagine this for our children. Are we providing so many organized events/activities for our children that we are stunting their imagination/creativity? From a medical standpoint this is something I have long-wondered and have wondered if this contributes to obesity in kids and maybe even some of the behavioral problems that parents come to me with all of the time?