When I was pregnant, I started going to the standard baby supply stores to buy all of the necessities a kidlet requires. And I had a tearful near-breakdown almost every time. What did I need? What didn’t I need? Did I really need five strollers like the gift registry literature recommends? And which stroller should I get? And which carseat? My baby’s safety rests on my carseat decision! WHICH ONE DO I GET!?
It was easy to get overwhelmed by the options of a baby mega-store. And even easier when you’re exhausted and have crazy hormones ricocheting throughout your body. Had I watched the movie Babies during my pregnancy, I wouldn’t have been quite so overwhelmed.
If you’re having a baby or have recently had a little one, I highly recommend seeing Babies. The movie follows the first year of life of four babies, one each in San Francisco, Japan, Namibia and Mongolia. The movie is awesomely adorable and laugh-out-loud funny in parts. There is almost no dialogue, but the babies are so entertaining to watch that you don’t miss talking.
The juxtaposition of the rural Namibian and Mongolian babies to the high-tech urban setting of the Japanese and American babies is hilarious—and made me feel in equal parts lucky and spoiled. For instance, the movie goes from the Namibian baby playing in the dirt, putting bones in his mouth and licking his dog’s tongue to the California girl, whose dad is vacuuming around her and then uses a lint roller to get the cat hair off.
While there is rarely overt danger for the babies, on more than one occasion I wondered how the babies survived, particularly the Mongolian baby, who somehow manages to avoid getting trampled by farm animals on several occasions. And his older brother hilariously pushes his stroller outside in the middle of a pasture—and leaves him there. At one point his parents tie him to the bed by the waist—their version of a play pen, I suppose, and something that would have an American parent arrested. But this kiddo doesn’t mind—he manages to get in trouble anyway.
But you also see how much you have in common with moms in very different circumstances. I empathized with the Namibian mom who nurses two babies while trying to get a third child to leave them alone. It reminded me of trying to feed my daughter while trying to get the dog to leave me alone—not quite the same, but hey, we’ve all got our hands full!
From a new mom hopping on the back of a motorcycle (ouch!), to a baby’s exhausted tantrum when she can’t get a toy to cooperate, to a father’s hilarious goof at a playground, the movie will make you relax if you’re an overwhelmed, stressed-out new mom. A little dirt won’t hurt. Kids are pretty resilient. You don’t need five strollers. And we’re all the same no matter where we live. I give it two chubby little thumbs up! —Erin