Babies’ cuteness is key to their survival. Cute babies are just extremely hard to ignore, and this is likely hardwired into human brains. Less cute children are treated differently.
Charles Vance Millar, a Toronto lawyer, died in 1926 with no relatives. In his will, he left all his remaining assets (equivalent to $9 million CAD) to the woman who had the most babies within 10 years of his death, creating a “baby race” where woman competed to have the most babies.
Because babies listen to the languages spoken around them while still in the womb, they develop distinctive cries that reflect this when they’re born. Thus – babies cry with an accent, making it possible to distinguish a French baby from a German baby, based purely on the way they cry.
The first time a Navajo baby laughs, the family throws a party. The person who made the baby laugh provides the food.
Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes. For 75 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. Mothers have a choice between taking the box, or a cash grant, currently set at 140 euros, but 95% opt for the box as it’s worth much more. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.
A vegan couple’s newborn died after they only fed it soy milk and apple juice. They are currently serving life in prison.
Back in 1948, Norman Robert Kolreg of Lewiston, Maine, became famous when he was able to walk upright (with some help from his mother) at the tender age of 5 days. Soon Mrs. Kolreg began exhibiting him to any curiosity seeker who showed up at her door. She even took out an ad in the paper, listing his scheduled performances. She didn’t charge an admission fee, but she did accept donations. Which led to criminal charges being brought against her, alleging that being exhibited was injurious to the child’s “life, limb and health.” The charges were dropped, but only after she agreed to stop making him perform. Reportedly, little Norman kept on walking — soon without any help from Mom.
Between 1939 and 1989 in Spain about 300,000 new-born babies have been stolen in hospitals by a child trafficking network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns. They just told the natural parents that their child had died.