“Aww! Look at their little face! I wonder what they are thinking?” Many people, quite rightly, become a joyous mess of babbling wonder when faced with a baby. The little bundles are not just podgy rolls of cuteness, but also magical balls of potential. How do they learn to talk? How do they learn to walk? Is bonding nature or nurture? Fear not! Netflix new docuseries, cunningly entitled Babies, is here to fill in your post-natal knowledge.
Babies follows 15 tots on their journey from newborn to one year old. However, this is not some chronological diary format, more that whenever there is a bunch of science to explore, the series will edit back and forth between applicable footage from each family. The six episodes focus on various developmental milestones within that first year of life, such as First Food, Crawling, First Words, and First Steps, as well as ‘Love’ and ‘Sleep’. You may not view sleep as a typical milestone but believe you me, after 3 months of only managing two-hour bursts between lengthy night feeds, a full night’s sleep for both you and your mini facsimile is something you will (not) dream about.
The real families and babies are there to fill in the gaps between the science parts, where a variety of experts and researchers talk about their studies and their implications. This can make for repetitive viewing at times as each scientist will invariably point out how only they had identified a gap in the research and they were stunned to discover their own study completely proved their own theories. Even if some results of the testing can feel disingenuous (the baby looked at the left light instead of right light proving it learns language through phonic pause repetition!) the research is always interesting.
Babies does a great job in the edit. If the science is getting rather wordy then it’ll be intercut with loving families detailing their little one’s exploits. If the window into real lives is getting rather like a diary entry, then a study about the importance of crawling on bone and brain growth (beyond it only being a stage towards walking) will fill the screen.
Certainly, there is plenty here for parents, both new and experienced. Whether the show will interest you if you aren’t a parent will depend on your thirst for baby knowledge but as a glossy and cute filled production, Babies is happily gurgling with all the goo.
Words by Michael Record