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15 carers cared for Stone Age newborns for nine hours daily

  • Stone Age parenting superiority
  • Mbendjele BaYaka caregiving insights
  • Contrasts with Western practices

Modern life has reportedly simplified many aspects, but child-rearing is an exception, according to scientists.

Contemporary hunter-gatherer societies show that Stone Age caring was better than today’s.

Cambridge University researchers discovered that children in the Mbendjele BaYaka region of the Republic of Congo were under the care of as many as fifteen distinct individuals for a total of nine hours daily.

Over 50% of moms’ support network attended to their wailing children, giving them more rest.

Conflict with Modern Parenting Techniques

The study’s authors say these findings suggest that modern parenting may collide with children’s evolutionary needs.

According to the study’s main author, Dr. Nikhil Chaudhary, knowledge of these contemporary hunter-gatherers can provide additional insight into Stone Age human society.

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“We have been hunter-gatherers for over 95% of our evolutionary history,” stated Dr. Chaudhary.

Hence, contemporary hunter-gatherer societies may provide insights into the possibility that neonates and their mothers have developed psychological adaptations to particular child-rearing systems.

The Mbendjele BaYaka of northern Congo’s jungles depend on honey, fishing, hunting, and gathering.

From March to July 2014, evolutionary anthropologists resided with the Mbendjele BaYaka.

Observations of Childcare Practices

These months, researchers observed youngsters for 12 daylight hours and noted how often and by whom they were cared for.

The study revealed that a child typically receives the attention of ten to twenty different carers. Additionally, a mother’s support system helped with almost 50% of her infant’s crying.

Children were rarely left alone and often supervised or in close physical touch with adults.

Minors were treated in less than 10 seconds in half of the cases and less than 25 seconds in 90%.

Additionally, older infants and adolescents are frequently engaged in caregiving, which, according to the authors of the report, provides them with practical experience and reduces their anxiety regarding parenthood.

This implies that infants might be predisposed to anticipate substantial amounts of physical contact and attention from multiple carers due to evolutionary factors.

Conversely, Western nations exhibit a scarcity of substantial child support provisions and maintain high-rationing systems between children and their caretakers.

The nuclear family system prevalent in the West is diametrically opposed to the communal living arrangements observed in hunter-gatherer societies such as the Mbendjele, according to Dr. Chaudhary.

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