Okay, so newborns are effectively needy hot water bottles. But instead of looking at their helplessness at birth as a negative thing, we should consider the benefits.
Non-human apes don’t need a tool to carry their infants in part because they have body hair for their infants to cling to but it’s more complicated than simply having body hair and a baby that can grasp it.
These hips don’t lie. They were selected for by evolutionary pressures right along with bigger headed babies. Learn why female humans tend to have wider hips than males and why it has little to do with birth.
Human feet are unique in the ape family, made for walking instead of grasping. For our babies this means two fewer grasping limbs to help cling to their mother, which means that during the evolution of bipedalism, infants had a harder time hanging on. How did our ancestors survive?
It’s not just that human babies are helpless at birth, it’s that they’re so huge, at least when we compare them to the size of other apes’ newborns. Fortunately we have all kinds of technology to help us carry them around. But how far back in history were our evolutionary ancestors dealing with these big babies?
This work is part of my project, The Evolution of Babywearing, which explores the evolutionary origins of the infant carrier and how it has shaped humanity as we know it. Many moons ago at a family gathering, a relative was complaining about her baby’s fussing, “He won’t let me put […]