Babies are Smart: Things They Know That Will Blow Your Mind

22nd Sep 2014

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a French philosopher called babies “perfect idiots.”

When they’re first born, that statement may seem true because their brains are basically Silly Putty but a growing amount of the science world is arguing otherwise. They’re saying that babies know a whole lot more than we think they do: babies are smart.

So, what is science finding?

  • Newborns Can Count: This blows my mind. Apparently, a few days after they are born, babies can basically count. If they are shown a number of dots, they will stare at them longer if the amount changes. This shows that they know the difference between numbers.


  • Babies Understand Parts of Physics: They grasp concepts like gravity. Why do you think they love to drop stuff? Not only is it fun to watch your parents pick toys up for you time after time but they actually understand why this is happening.


  • They Also Understand Statistics: I’m not kidding. At 8 months old, they can comprehend basic statistics. How do scientists know? They showed babies a basket of ping-pong balls. 80% of them were white and the other 20% were red. The scientists took out 5 balls at random, all of which happened to be red. The babies were puzzled, which indicates that they knew the odds of that happening were crazy.


  • They Know Good From Bad: Babies are actually born with a moral compass, which allows them to differentiate right from wrong. A study conducted by the Yale Infant Cognition Center helps support this finding. They showed animated films with a circle climbing a hill. Triangles helped push the circle up while squares pushed it down. Babies as young as three months old paid more attention to the triangle, which was helping the circle, and they overlooked the bad guy.


  • They Learn from Something Being Repeated 9 Times: We know that babies learn from repetition but what we didn’t know was how many times something needs to be repeated. At the University of Hong Kong, babies were shown videos of smiley and sad faces. After 9 repetitions, they only paid half as much attention, which shows that they learned the cycle and got bored.


Physics, statistics, right from wrong; this is everything I struggled with in college. Babies are smart!




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