Babies are not like giraffes

My little boy is 4 weeks old today and since his birth the question of why animals progress faster than human babies has come up quite a bit.

It takes roughly a year for babies to start walking and yet animals do it almost instantly. A baby giraffe for instance falls out of their mother from such a height that they are practically forced to stand before they even set foot (or hoof rather) on this planet. So if we claim to be so evolved, why do our little ones take so much longer to do the same thing?

Well, let’s rewind a little bit: the first time I was left alone with my son in hospital (a few hours after my c-section and I was still a bit out of it) It was time for him to latch. When I first got pregnant, I made up a to do list with a schedule to follow and that list included reading up on breastfeeding in the last trimester. I had all the info and extra advice from friends but somehow (and I’m still not sure how) I didn’t actually follow up on this until I was faced with this tiny human sucking his hand indicating that he needed to be fed.

So obviously I knew his mouth had to connect with my breast but that was basically all I knew. Oh and that I might not instantly have milk but that was it. So there we were – a 30year old ‘mother’ and her brand new (only a few hours old) baby. It’s probably the most important task a mother has to perform: feeding her young. I have to admit that at that point I relied on this tiny little – less than 4kg – being to show ME how it was done…

Luckily for me as soon as I got him close enough he did his thing and we were on our way. Later the lactation nurse came in and checked on us and pointed out a few basics I hope I would have thought of eventually if I actually took the time to think about it. For instance making sure his nose is not blocked by your breast and holding his head in place – my son was super strong so he kept bobbing around to find the perfect latch but also still tiny so still had to figure out how to really move his head.

Since then there have been other moments where I have relied on my son to show me the way. For instance when he cries it’s up to him to tell me what is wrong: hungry? wind? wet diaper? lonely? scared? tired?

I don’t think they do that in the wild: wait for their young to tell them how to raise them… so no wonder they are leaps and bounds ahead of us.

Obviously, eventually we learn to teach our kids manners and how to read and count and social skills – which is where we eventually surpass the animals out in the wild but when it comes to the basics we will always lag behind our wild counter parts since it seems we are doing it backwards

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