Mighty Mommy and Nicholas Day Discuss Amazing Infants

Babies are fascinating creatures who constantly keep us guessing. What are they thinking? Why do they do what they do? Thanks to author Nicholas Day’s new book, Baby Meets World, we get some amazing answers!

Cheryl Butler
6-minute read
Episode #230

As the mom of 8 kids, I can honestly tell you that each time I had a newborn baby in my life I was always intrigued and amazed at how fascinating they were. I would hold the baby for hours and study every little coo and movement—simply getting lost in the miracle of these precious human beings who were so dependent on me for all their needs.

Although my oldest is 20 and my youngest is now the worldly age of 7, I am still mesmerized by infants.   >

Today I have a very special guest joining me, Nicholas Day, stay-at-home dad and author of the extraordinary book, Baby Meets World.  I enjoyed reading this book immensely because Nicholas takes a totally new approach to the subject by drawing on a wealth of perspectives—scientific, historical, cross-cultural, and personal. Baby Meets World is organized around the mundane activities that dominate the life of an infant: sucking, smiling, touching, and toddling. From these everyday activities, he weaves together an account that is anything but ordinary. It’s a fresh, surprising story, both weird and wondrous, about a baby’s first experience of the world. We invite you to spend the next few minutes with us as Mighty Mommy and Nicholas Day chat about the fascinating world of babies.

Mighty Mommy: Nicholas, the way you present the information in Baby Meets World is brilliant! How did this book come to be?

Nicholas Day: After my son was born, I had a lot of simple but resoundingly unanswered questions. Most books about babies treat them as problems to be fixed, like leaky faucets. (Just use this socket wrench and he’ll sleep all night!) I wanted to read a book that treated babies as the fascinating beings that they actually are. So I wrote it. I don’t recommend this, by the way.

There’s been a lot left out of the baby books, and I wanted to bring that hidden world of infancy into the light. I was especially curious about the things my son Isaiah spent his time doing. Not just doing causally, but doing in an obsessed, semi-compulsive way: sucking, smiling, touching, toddling. Yet, no one says much about these activities. To everyone but the baby, the most visible parts of infancy are the most overlooked. They shouldn’t be. They’re fascinating and they cover a lot of what transpires during infancy: how a baby feeds and consoles herself, how she develops emotionally and socially, how he begins participating in her world, and how he learns to explore it.

There’s way too much happening in infancy to cover all of it, or most of it, or even more than a tiny sliver. This book is built around the idea that if you look deeply at a few things, rather than superficially at many things, you’ll end up seeing and knowing, a lot more. And you’ll end up with some much-needed perspective.


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About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.