Excited about your upcoming bundle of joy, mama? Here are some cool shows to watch
…Especially if you don’t have the patience to read a baby book!
Yes you heard it here first: this Sassy girl is a soon-to-be Sassy Mama! After being on this awesome team for 3+ years it looks like I’ve gotten some baby dust sprinkled on me and am getting ready to have a little one of my own. I’m currently in my second trimester and I’m happy to report that getting dressed finally doesn’t feel like a morning marathon and putting makeup on is a lot more enjoyable!
During the challenging first trimester, I could barely do anything – my downtime consisted of laying sprawled on the bed, breathless (despite not doing much all day), and having just enough energy to pick up the TV remote to change channels or scroll through Netflix (I can already hear you mamas snickering at me… “Hah, this is only the beginning, sister!”). Usually I’m a sucker for true crime documentaries, but seeing as how every odd smell, sight and even thought made me feel queasy, I had to find something milder to watch. Then I came across The Beginning of Life.
Directed by Brazilian movie director and writer Estela Renner, The Beginning of Life investigates the brain science and development of babies right from the womb. With insight from various experts from Brazil, USA, UK France, Italy, the Africas and China, the docu-series provides eye-opening facts and debunks the myth that every child is born a ‘clean slate’ to impose our skills and beliefs on, and instead proves that babies have already begun their learning journey during gestation.
“In a full-term pregnancy, when a mom has gone to 40 weeks’ gestation, at birth that baby will recognise her mother’s voice. And she does that based on experience of having heard her mom talk while she was still a fetus.”
– Charles A. Nelson III Ph.D., Pediatrician and Neuroscientist, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital
The Beginning of Life also talks about the importance of nurturing children from 0-5 years old, making mention that waiting until they are of age to attend nursery or kindergarten may be too late to tap into the child’s rapid development in the first few years.
I love how diverse the cast and subjects in the series are – not just in terms of ethnicity and nationality, but also socioeconomic backgrounds. The show portrays multiple families from economically disadvantaged circumstances, whose kids thrive in their unstable living conditions because their parents are able to passionately provide a good, nurturing start in life using the simple tools available to them for exploration and learning. There’s also a portrayal of non-typical family dynamics, like same-sex parents (and how their kids interpret this arrangement) and stay-at-home dads.
Other great learning points for parents/parents-to-be include how teaching babies face-to-face, in real life, is multiple times more beneficial than parking them in front of an educational video or TV show. A study in the series showed how a group of babies were able to absorb language nuances from a teacher in a classroom/playgroup setting, but learned nothing when the same lesson was played on a TV placed in front of them. Guess we gotta hold back on the screen time for infants, mama!
All in all, The Beginning of Life taught me a lot about the little things that matter, like acknowledging that failing at something is a part of life, and encouragement and support are essential in raising confident kids with high self-esteem. Kids with this type of positive support will be more open to trying new things and will not be afraid of failure.
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At the same time, though, it doesn’t make me feel like I’ll turn into a paranoid mother (guess I’ll have to see for myself when the time comes!). Rather, to nurture my future child in a positive way, and let them turn their failures and frustrations into life lessons.
More don’t-miss shows for mamas and mamas-to-be:
Workin’ Moms: Canadian, funny, a lot less depressing than The Letdown
Brainchild: Particularly great for mamas who already have older kids!
Yummy Mummies: I personally couldn’t sit through an entire episode but hey, some people truly enjoy reality shows like this one!
What are you watching on Netflix in preparation for your bub, mama? Let us know on Facebook!