Body Hair

Apes, including humans, are physiologically riders, meaning that they carry their babies with them as opposed to leaving them in nests or dens because their breast milk composition is not suited to leaving their infants alone for long periods of time (Ross, 2001). Unlike humans, 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. Hair strength, density, infant weight, carrying position, adult posture, and even humidity play a part in successful infant carrying without tool use. Continue reading

Squished Part 2: Boney Bits

In this four-part series, I am drawing on decades of research to discredit the pernicious myth of the Obstetrical Dilemma. In the first part, I explain what the Obstetrical Dilemma is, where (and when) it originated and what some of the consequences of the myth are. In this second part, I take on the skeletal side of the theory, namely women’s pelvises and the skull of the infant, the combination of which is also referred to as fetopelvic morphology. In part three, I move on to infant development at birth to dispell this idea that human infants are born prematurely. And finally, in part four, I explain how the infant carrier has influenced the shape (literally) of the modern human by providing support for poorly clinging big headed hominids long before modern humans were on the scene. Continue reading

A Few Billion Years of Evolution

Are you curious about how life evolved on planet Earth? Well, grab a snack and a beverage and settle in for a few billion years. Here in part one, I am going to cover earth’s history from the start of life to the evolution of our hominin ancestors, from 4.6 billion years ago to around six million years ago. For some, this will be all new information and for others a bit of a refresher; for everyone, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.   Continue reading

Transport Response

Anyone who has cared for a newborn as been there. That moment when you feel like you have tried everything to soothe your crying baby and you just want to sit down and cry yourself. But what if there was some magic trick that would calm your baby and brighten your own mood? According to science there just might be some magic in taking a walk with your baby– but you’ll need to carry them for the full benefit. Continue reading