Young babies make jokes and form friendships with subtle, non-verbal gestures, a new study has found
Babies use social games to form friendships and make each other laugh
Babies too young to speak use subtle but sophisticated gestures to make jokes and communicate with each other, a new study has found.
Researchers at Charles Sturt University in Australia studied footage taken from tiny cameras strapped to a group of babies’ heads. While reviewing the ‘baby’s eye view’ footage, the children aged between 6-months and 18-months were seen using subtle, non-verbal gestures to form friendships and make each other laugh.
“We were very, very surprised to see just how sophisticated they were in terms of their social skills, in making sure they were inviting other children to be part of their group,” Jennifer Sumsion, foundation professor of early childhood at the university, said.
Jennifer explained how the babies used “little social games that you wouldn’t necessarily see unless you were looking very closely.”
Examples included children pretending to hand another child a toy, only to snatch it away at the last minute, and babies sitting close to each other in highchairs, playfully switching their drink bottles around.
Another moment caught on camera saw a 1-year-old girl trying to comfort another baby, who had become frightened, by gently placing a piece of see-through fabric over her so she could see out but also felt protected.
It’s hoped that the new research will shed some light on the secret world of babies and their experiences in childcare.