For years doctors in the US made little attempt to save the lives of premature babies, but there was one place distressed parents could turn for help - a sideshow on Coney Island. In the 1870s, the French obstetrician Tarnier went to the zoo and noticed an incubator for the raising of chicks. He asked its producer to build one capable of holding premature infants, and by the 1890s incubator exhibitions had spread across Europe and the United States. But the most famous one in America was Dr. Couney's exhibition at Coney Island, which ran from 1903 to 1943.
An overview of folklore, religion and popular intuition surrounding childbirth, pregnant women, and young infants: abortion by aswang, blood-drinking Lilith, curses from witches, skeletal-faced spirits, and demonic births. content advisory: infant mortality [more inside]
UBC psych prof Dr. J. Kiley Hamlin: "Across two experiments with combined samples of more than 200 infant participants, we found that 9- and 14-month-old infants prefer individuals who treat similar others well and treat dissimilar others poorly." Popularization at The Atlantic. Full paper (Psychological Science, paywall). Researcher profile.
" Initially it was thought to be something to house firewood, though it didn’t seem capable of holding much, and the slat that sits perpendicular to the box on the inside wall made little sense. It took observers a while to realize that this contraption was a device for holding children—a “baby tender.”" (via)
Sure a baby has a swimming reflex but that doesn't mean watching them swim isn't absolutely terrifying.
Shaken-Baby Syndrome Faces New Questions in Court. Earlier this month, the UK Crown Prosecution Service issued a guidance on "shaken baby" allegations. Emily Bazelon looks at the medical and legal gray areas in US prosecutions in this week's New York Times Magazine. An editorial last fall by law professor Deborah Turkheimer here touched on her own research into the issue [PDF], which she calls "the next Innocence Project;" it was met with some controversy by medical professionals.
It is apparent to me that Faith does have a brain, despite what the doctors have said. Even though it is generally believed that anencephalic babies are blind, deaf, and cannot feel touch or think... I don't believe that. Not at all. So little is known about the human brain and the only one who really knows what's going on is God. I truly believe that Faith can think and can feel my touch and hear my voice. I can't prove it but I feel like I just know. [images may be disturbing]
Darren Karnick hands his infant to the presidential candidates and photographs the results. The Daily Telegraph says the baby primary is a clear win for Obama. The Boston Globe has more pictures of the candidates with kids. And should you be embarking on a political career, don't forget to bone up on the Commandments for Policians Who Art Babykissers, including such sound advice as "thou shouldst not drop babies thou art kissing, for surely, dropped babies will gain thee no votes."
For most of human history, infants have needed to stay in close proximity to their mothers simply to survive. The result? Most cultures developed and used some kind of soft baby carrier that straps to the mother's or caretaker's body. Despite research, doctor's advice and celebrity endorsement, American and European babies spend less time in arms and more time in containers than babies in more traditional cultures. Somehow, the concept simply picking up and carrying the baby continues to elude many parents.(warning: music)
Unspeakable conversations (NYTimes) (printer friendly). Controversial ethicist Peter Singer (previously mentioned 1, 2, 3, 4) advocates the euthanasia of severely disabled infants. In the referenced article from the NYT magazine, attorney and disability rights advocate Harriet McBride Johnson describes a genteel encounter and debate with a man who may have had her killed. Aside from confronting the central issue (as we surely shall!), Ms. Johnson also describes the difficult balance between her impressions of Prof. Singer the man, her loathing of his ideas, and the enmity toward both from her colleagues at Not Dead Yet. Have you ever tried to reconcile feelings so charged?
dumpster sticker says, Don't throw that baby away!. Christine McGuire of the Santa Cruz county District Attorney's Office thinks it's a good idea.