10+ verk 589 medlemmar 13 recensioner

Om författaren

Meredith F. Small is professor of anthropology Cornell University.

Verk av Meredith F. Small

Associerade verk

Nerve: Literate Smut (1998) — Bidragsgivare — 126 exemplar
Human Sexuality 94/95 (1993) — Bidragsgivare — 2 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Vedertaget namn
Small, Meredith F.
St. Louis, Missouri, USA



DonaldPowell | 2 andra recensioner | Feb 5, 2019 |
Read introduction and chapters 4-6 (sleeping, crying, feeding) on Ben's recommendation.


What no one sees is the personal and cultural influences that have brought them to their opinions. (xv)

Infants can be at a disadvantages when...culturally imposed ways conflict with baby biology. Human infants are all biologically very similar in their needs: that is, they need food, sleep, and emotional attachment. (xvii)

Chapter 4: A Reasonable Sleep

In a healthy atmosphere, where parents are not intoxicated, on drugs, or obese, the chance of overlaying [rolling over on a baby and smothering it] is zero. If this is true, why does the myth persist? (122)

If an infant can be physiologically affected as a result of separation from its mother during the day, there may also be powerful effects from being separated during the night. (125)

...data so far suggests clear benefits to co-sleeping, as opposed to the mountain of myths that stop parents from sharing the night with their young ones. (136)

Chapter 5: Crybaby

[At three months, babies' crying shifts from "expressive" to "communicative" (different cries for different reasons)] (144)

New research...indicates that Western babies typically cry for long periods, and even develop "colic," because the accepted and culturally composed caretaking style is often at odds with infant biology. When an infant cries inconsolably for hours...we see the clearest example of the clash between biology and culture. The baby is responding to an environment that has been culturally altered, and for which it has not been biologically adapted....The infant is biologically adapted to expect the constant physical attachment and care within which the human infant evolved millions of years ago. (155)

It is not that babies have changed, but rather that the environment in which babies send their signals has been altered. (157)

Chapter 6: Food for Thought

As many pediatricians and hospital staff now know, the sucking reflex is strongest within the first thirty minutes after birth. Newborns placed directly on their mothers' bellies directly after birth [move toward the breast] when left on the mother's body for twenty minutes....[an] interruption in the loop can derail the whole process. (179)

When the milk is low in fat and protein, as it is in humans, it is an indication that breast-feeding is designated or intended to be more continuous. Human milk is 88 percent water and 4.5 percent fat on average, depending on the style of feeding; interval feeding with long spaces in between produces lower-fat milk, while continuous feeding produces higher-fat milk. (193)

In all cultures, women adapt their lifestyles to infant needs, and to an extent, infants adapt to their mothers' availability. (202)

In the 1800s, more than 95 percent of infants in the United States were breast-fed by their mothers and children were not weaned until they were two to four years old. Today, about half the infants born in the U.S. are breast-fed, and breast-feeding duration is relatively short, about four months for most babies. (204)

Humans evolved in such a way that babies were sustained on continuous feeding with a substance relatively low in fat and protein, a system that requires constant access to the mother. (212)
… (mer)
JennyArch | 8 andra recensioner | Jul 20, 2015 |
I read this for an anthropology class at my university. Although I'm many many years away from parenting, I consider reading it a paradigm-shifting moment. I have so many ideas now about how I want to raise my children. And although I try not to be a proselytizing student of anthropology, I cringe whenever I see babies crying alone in their strollers, neglected by their caregivers and the world around them. I have to resist the urge to shove this book in the parents' faces. Please parents and future-parents of the world, put down your [b:What to Expect When You're Expecting|174703|What to Expect When You're Expecting|Heidi Murkoff|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1298458822s/174703.jpg|257399] and read [b:Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent|407854|Our Babies, Ourselves How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent|Meredith Small|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320470493s/407854.jpg|397161] instead.… (mer)
IAmChrysanthemum | 8 andra recensioner | Jun 8, 2013 |
this is such an incredible book, despite its unfortunate title (it has nothing to do with the classic "our bodies, ourselves"). it is an anthropological look at parenting and is supported by evolutionary biology too. it is full of interesting facts, many pertaining to our unique (and sometimes bizarre) american parenting practices, such as putting babies to sleep in their own rooms. however, it does not take a judgmental tone and is neutral in its presentation of facts of child-rearing across cultures. i learned so much from reading this (for example, SIDS and colic are virtually unheard of among people who hold their infants more often, nurse regularly, and sleep next to them at night) and enthusiastically recommend it.… (mer)
julierh | 8 andra recensioner | Apr 7, 2013 |


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