Bringing Up Baby

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Bringing Up BabyNatural World investigates the vital bond between animal mothers and their babies.

The more we study animals, the more we realize just how emotional they are; all mothers are faced with tough choices as they struggle to bring up babies in a difficult and dangerous world, constantly balancing their own needs with those of their infants.

Yet there are many ways to raise your brood, from the fish who looks after her young in her mouth to the extended childhoods of gorillas or orang-utans.

Male lions may protect or kill cubs, for example. Orang-utans spend more time growing up than almost any other animal, as each ape may spend a decade learning from its mother.

Baby broad-snouted caiman spend much less time in the company of their mother. But even these reptiles help their young hatch from their eggs.

The very act of giving birth is traumatic, and baby guanacos must be alert for predators from almost the moment they are born.

Even males sometimes get in on the act. Male California mouse support the females as they give birth, acting the doting father, helping to keep his mate and the nest clean.

Female Amourobius spiders make the ultimate sacrifice, giving up their bodies to feed their offspring. The spiderlings feast directly upon the flesh of their mother.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist)

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Ratings: 8.00/10 from 9 users.
  • Arnold Vinette

    Really good. I liked this show on the babies and mothers. I had to laugh when the fathers were sometimes booted out of the process of raising their young with mothers being completely independent.

    Many human females can be exactly the same way. Once they have their kids the fathers are divorced and removed from the picture as being just too interfering.

    This happened to me and at first I was a little put out. Then I realized that this is quite normal in the animal kingdom. And since we are just another animal, there are some parallels.

    So if you are the father of one or more kids and suddenly find yourself kicked out of the house, fear not, this is just nature at work and do not take it personally.

    Some human mothers are extremely territorial, especially when it comes to their children. They do not want any interference in the raising of their children, even if it is their birth father. Strange but true.

    Many, many human fathers will go through this strange and unusual experience. I know as I have met so many.

    The BBC always do such an excellent job on their documentaries and David Attenburgh is truly a legend when it comes to BBC nature documentaries.

    Great filming covering so many different types of parents raising their young in the wild.

    Arnold Vinette
    Ottawa, Canada

  • ProudinUS

    Good doc. It was fasanating to watch animal new borns and their parents.Sad to see the male lion kill the cub though.

  • ProudinUS

    @Arnold Vinette

    I agree with you.I went through a divorce,and off went the kids!
    Don't get me wrong,I was still was a major factor in them growing up,but it just wasn't the same.(If that makes any sense)I couldn't disipline them correctly because I always felt ashamed that I wasn't their.I always spoiled them when they stayed with me.

  • Maya

    Thank you so much for this fantastic documentary.Good job.

  • jen

    This one of my favorites already. Plus i love anything David Attenbough does. Cute babies, great info and the world's best nature guy. Its like perfect nature doc trifecta. AWESOME.

  • http://www.vsh.org Anjie

    The most abused mother/baby relationship of all is the dairy cow and her calf. Most people don't connect the fact that in order for cows to have milk, they must be kept pregnant at all times. In our world of factory farming, cows are raped & artificial inseminated. Then the minute their calf is born, it is taken away so all her milk can be used for human consumption. If her calf is male, he will be confined to a tiny crate allowing only enough space to stand up/lie down. He's fed an anemic liquid diet for several months before getting slaughtered as veal. If it's a girl, she goes back into the rape and milk-giving cycle just like her mother. Once a dairy cow's milk production slow down, they are sold off cheaply to be slaughtered as low grade hamburger meat or pet food. Seeing this documentary celebrating the bond between animal babies and their mothers only heightened my awareness of the ironic ways we treat the dairy cows and her babies.

  • Gary V

    Yet another great natural history doc from the BBC.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U4MVUEV6ZW3VKJOKC6WRAJENFM Isabella

    Thank you! A brilliant documentary, very powerful.