Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent

Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent

by Meredith Small
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Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent by Meredith Small

A thought-provoking combination of practical parenting information and scientific analysis, Our Babies, Ourselves is the first book to explore why we raise our children the way we do--and to suggest that we reconsider our culture's traditional views on parenting.

New parents are faced with innumerable decisions to make regarding the best way to care for their baby, and, naturally, they often turn for guidance to friends and family members who have already raised children. But as scientists are discovering, much of the trusted advice that has been passed down through generations needs to be carefully reexamined.

In this ground-breaking book, anthropologist Meredith Small reveals her remarkable findings in the new science of ethnopediatrics. Professor Small joins pediatricians, child-development researchers, and anthropologists across the country who are studying to what extent the way we parent our infants is based on biological needs and to what extent it is based on culture--and how sometimes what is culturally dictated may not be what's best for babies.

Should an infant be encouraged to sleep alone? Is breast-feeding better than bottle-feeding, or is that just a myth of the nineties? How much time should pass before a mother picks up her crying infant? And how important is it really to a baby's development to talk and sing to him or her?

These are but a few of the important questions Small addresses, and the answers not only are surprising, but may even change the way we raise our children.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307763976
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/07/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 614,212
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Meredith F. Smaill is a professor of anthropology at Cornell University and the author of Our Babies, Ourselves; What's Love Got to Do with It?; and Female Choices. She writes frequently for Natural History Magazine, Discover, Scientific American, and is a commentator for National Public Radio's All Things Considered. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently became a new mom, and was looking for information on babies that was NOT written by a pediatrician. Our Babies, Ourselves (no relation to Our Bodies, Ourselves) is written by an anthropologist, who provides more of a worldwide view that just an Americanized view. This book made me feel at ease about how I am beginning to raise my child, and that "right and wrong" ways of childrearing don't exist in much of the world. The research and information on biology and medicine are phenomenal and very intriguing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. Meredith Smalls gives us a fascinating anthropological view of parenting. I first read this book when my oldest child was an infant and I was struggling with listening to all the well-meaning advice of friends an relatives.This book validated all my natural parenting instincts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a facinating look at how parents make choices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago