If you’re familiar with the 1989 romantic comedy entitled “Look Who’s Talking”, you’ll get an amusing portrayal of how babies think. The show has Bruce Willis as the voice behind little Mikey’s thoughts.
The reality of it, though, is that we can’t read our baby’s minds (It would be such a relief if we could!) to figure out what they need or how they’re feeling.
Recent research, though, shows how even before babies can talk, they actually have ways of befriending other babies. When Australian researchers from the Charles Sturt University strapped on small cameras to the heads of babies six to 18 months old, they were able to have a closer look at how exactly babies interact with one another, especially since they don’t have the gift of speech yet.
Comments one of the researchers, Jennifer Sumsion, they “were much more capable at a young age than we had anticipated", which "should reassure parents with children in childcare.” To illustrate, Sumsion adds that the babies used “"little social games that you wouldn't necessarily see unless you were looking very closely."
In fact, babies have quite a sense of humor. A baby below 12 months would tease another baby by teasing him that he would hand him a toy, and then would playfully snatch it back before finally handing it over.
A one-year-old girl even consoled a younger baby who was scared by putting a thin sheet of plastic over the baby’s eyes, so that she could still see but feel secure.
It’s quite charming how babies can actually know how to start friendships and joke around with one another even when they don’t yet know how to communicate verbally.
• February 21, 2012. “Babies make friends, jokes before learning to talk, say Australian researchers” nydailynews.com
• February 21, 2012. Savitha C. Muppala. “Research Delves into Baby Talk and How Babies Make Friends” medindia.net
• February 22, 2012. Jennifer Chan. “Babies Can Befriend Other Babies without Using Speech” femalenetwork.com
Photo by CeeKay’s Pix via flickr creative commons