Being a parent is the best feeling in the world. The overwhelming joy and euphoric highs of seeing your child hit those first landmarks are unrivaled and make this one of the best experiences you can have in life. Of course, it’s also one of the most stressful and mentally taxing too, making this a double-edged sword but one that’s well worth taking. Never one to miss a trick, Netflix return with another great documentary series on this topic, showcasing those aforementioned first landmarks in a celebratory documentary series split across multiple parts and following new parents on this wondrous journey across the first year of life.
Combining the brilliant minds of 36 scientists and with 15 different babies filmed across one year, Netflix deliver an engrossing, educational and scientifically charged documentary series that dives into the nitty gritty of parenthood and how children experience and engage with the world. From those crucial first moments of bonding, through to the importance of sleep and letting your baby explore by crawling and walking, Babies is a heart-warming docu-series that’ll almost certainly rekindle those euphoric waves of joy experienced by parents that witnessed these same events with their own children.
Of course, the series isn’t just for parents to look back in fondness, there’s an educational edge to this one that make it worth watching for those without kids, combining nicely with the fly-on-the-wall and handheld camera shots that follow each parent across the six episodes available for this first part. Whether it be discussing microbes in homes with pets or the importance of Oxytocin during the first weeks, Babies really deep dives into these different topics and adds as much informative material as possible to its broody shots following the different parents on their journeys raising their kids.
In that respect, Babies plays out in two distinct parts. The first sees talking head segments involving scientists discussing different elements, chemical impulses and studies they’ve conducted as they dive into just how babies operate. The other sees a more reality-TV slant as we follow these parents during different moments in life, from feedings and visiting farms through to a trip to the beach and trying mashed up foods for the first time.
These intimate up-close and personal segments are really well done too and as you follow the same parents across the episodes, you start to see just how much their kids have grown over the year which is pretty eye-opening to see, especially for those parents (like me) that have a tendency to look back in fondness and awe at old photos of your kids and wonder just how time has slipped by so quickly.
Of course, because of the nature of this series, these two elements do have a tendency to push and pull, and don’t always harmonize that well across the series. Those looking for more babies will be put off by the science, while those looking for more science may grow tired of the interviews with parents about their kids. It’s not a deal breaker but it is something worth bearing in mind going into this one.
With more parts to come and Babies settling into a soothing rhythm early on, there’s plenty more scope to explore this fascinating topic in the coming episodes. For now though, Babies looks like it’ll be a compelling and engrossing hit for anyone looking to learn more about the science of babies or those who just want to get a bit broody over cute kids. Either way, there should be enough here to make Babies a worthwhile watch and another hit on Netflix’s hands.
Verdict - 7/10