The Secret Science of Baby

What stops pregnant women from falling over all the time? What makes infant cries so captivating? How do sperm swim?

The Secret Science of Baby answers these questions and many more, revealing the fascinating physics behind conception, birth, and babyhood.

Parents and parents-to-be are bombarded with information, from what to expect to what to do (and not to do) when it happens. But what they may not realize is that from the chemistry of pregnancy tests to the vacuum physics of breastfeeding, there is fascinating science at the heart of every aspect of creating and raising a new human.

Written by science journalist Michael Banks, The Secret Science of Baby won’t tell you how to raise a perfect violin-playing, mandarin-speaking toddler, but it will shed a new light on how and why things happen as they do — from conception and pregnancy to cooing and pooing.

Exploring the hidden physics behind uterine contractions, the fluid dynamics of diapers, and more, both parents and curious non-parents (who, after all, were once babies themselves) will gain a fresh perspective on the infant universe…and the thrilling science that makes it possible.

In these pages, readers will discover:
The physics of the playground and common toys–from the swing to the Slinky
What it really means to sleep like a baby
The surprising shared vocal cord features of lions and (human) infants
The miracle of a baby’s first breath and how surface tension provided the key to helping preemies breathe

Banks draws from his own experience, interviews with scientists, and the latest research (including some involving conception inside an MRI machine) to offer a book that focuses on “how?” rather than “how-to.” The result is an illuminating and hilarious journey through the everyday science of making, baking, and bringing up baby.

The Secret Science of Baby is out now. Buy it here (US) or here (UK) or on audiobook.

Praise for The Secret Science of Baby

“A hilarious, informative, and entirely impractical guide to babies. I loved it” — Chris Ferrie, author of Quantum Physics for Babies

“Fascinating. Terrifying. I’ll never look at human reproduction the same way again.” — James Breakwell, comedy writer, creator of @XplodingUnicorn on Twitter, and author of Bare Minimum Parenting

The Secret Science of Baby is fun and fascinating, but it is more than that: It deepens our sense of awe and admiration at the ingenuity life has put into the process of propagating itself.” — Philip Ball, author of How to Grow a Human

“If you’re a parent who’s ever pondered conception, childbirth or baby behavior and wondered ‘How the heck does this even happen?’, The Secret Science of Baby is for you. Prepare to be wowed — and maybe a little grossed out, too.” — Melinda Wenner Moyer, author of How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes

“A fascinating look at some of the scientific triumphs (and mishaps) of creating small humans. This book is perfect for anyone interested in learning about the science of early parenthood or fun trivia facts like what was used as a common feeding bottle during the Middle Ages.” — Julie Vick, author of Babies Don’t Make Small Talk (So Why Should I?)

The Secret Science of Baby walks the reader through the wide and fascinating range of science involved in the production of a new human, and in the process makes this most quintessentially miraculous of life events seem even more amazing.” — Chad Orzel, author of How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog

“Everything you wanted to know about the science of your bouncing, burping bundle of joy but were just too plain exhausted to ask. Michael Banks explores the fascinating and, frankly, downright weird physics, chemistry, and biology of making a human. Just like your teething little one at 03:00 a.m., The Secret Science of Baby is unputdownable.” — Philip Moriarty, author of When the Uncertainty Principle Goes to Eleven