Last night hubby and I watched the Babies documentary after our kids were in bed. First, this is a seriously cute movie. I giggled all the way through, especially at the antics that remind me of my own baby. Second, there are a lot of differences in how we raise kids across the globe!
If you haven't seen the movie yet, filmographers followed four babies from birth until 1 year. One baby is in the US, one in Africa, one in Japan, and one in Mongolia. There's no dialog, just film footage of these kids, sorted loosely by what they're doing at each stage (eating, playing, sleeping, etc). It's about an hour long. I definitely recommend it!
One thing I keep thinking about...the African baby never wears a diaper. I wonder if diapers ever touch their bottoms? The movie didn't go too much into how diapering / pottying is handled, but you get glimpses here and there. For instance, the African mom let the poo dry, then wiped it clean on her knee. (Ew, I know, but things are different there) Then she wiped her knee clean. You see the Mongolian baby getting a lot of naked time, too, especially once he was old enough to sit up. The US baby wore cloth but she was always dressed. The Japanese baby I never could tell what she was wearing for a diaper, but she was always dressed, too. I suppose naked baby girls aren't appropriate for tv these days.
Another thing I noticed was a clear difference in the toys and activities between the developed countries (US, Japan) and the undeveloped (Namibia, Mongolia). The Japanese and US babies had lots of toys and books. Their moms put them in baby carriers or strollers and went to play dates, music class, and the park. The Mongolian baby spent most of his time at home with goats and cows. He played with toilet paper in one scene, with simple Duplo-type blocks in another. No other baby toys were seen. The African baby played with rocks, sticks, and bones. Oh, and an empty water bottle and a tin can. Yet I swear the African baby looked like he had the most fun!
There were things that were the same across all 4 as well. All were breastfed at least for a while. And all 4 were clearly loved by their mothers and a network of people. Lovely movie.