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IPFS News Link • Anthropology

A return to our hunter-gatherer roots may benefit child development

• arclein

Going in search of answers, evolutionary anthropologist Dr Nikhil Chaudhary relied on his observations of the BaYaka people in Congo and extensive anthropological research of other hunter-gatherer societies. He teamed up with Dr Annie Swanepoel, a child psychiatrist, to compare childcare practices in hunter-gatherer societies to those in what they've termed Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Babies raised in hunter-gatherer societies experience very high levels of physical contact. They are held or carried in a sling for much of the day, breastfed on demand for up to four years, and share a bed throughout childhood. Infant crying is attended to far quicker, and scolding is extremely rare compared with WEIRD societies.