Adorable Babies Have Adorable Social Strategies

Babies are pretty fun as it is, but now a new study has found that they might be even more entertaining than we thought—we just haven't been paying close enough attention. Researchers at Charles Sturt University in Australia wanted to study how babies interact with each other while in childcare. So they strapped tiny cameras on the heads of some children, who ranged in age from six months to 18 months, and watched what they got up to.

It turns out this "baby's eye view" was actually quite illuminating. First off, it apparently makes you realize that to babies, things like spoons seem comically oversized. But it also showed that the babies had fairly complex non-verbal ways of communicating with each other, and they even knew how to make each other laugh. Researcher Jennifer Sumsion said of the findings,

We were very, very surprised to see just how sophisticated they were in terms of their social skills, their helping skills, in making sure they were inviting other children to be part of their group.

The babies used eye contact and hand gestures and "little social games that you wouldn't necessarily see unless you were looking very closely." For instance, one kid would pretend to hand another kid a toy but would snatch it away before he could grab it. Or babies sitting next to each other would switch their bottles around. Classic baby pranks! They also captured footage of a one-year-old trying to comfort a scared baby, "by gently placing a piece of see-through fabric over her so she could see out but feel protected." Oh, the heart, it hurts. Quick, someone needs to set up an online babycam so we can all waste our days watching the world through an infant's eyes.

Babies make friends, jokes before learning to talk, say Australian researchers [NYDN]

Image via Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.