Tagged With child development

Prior to developing the capacity for speech, toddlers communicate their desires, demands and discontent using a diverse repertoire of physical gestures. As a new study shows, there’s a significant amount of overlap between the gestures employed by human children and those made by other ape species, a finding that’s casting new light on the origin of primate communication.

It’s easy to feel smug around kids. You might not have it all together — you might, in fact, be rapidly disintegrating professionally and psychologically — but at least you can spill some apple juice without wailing inconsolably for six hours. Comparatively terrible things happen to you all the time, and you don’t freak out about it, or if you do, you do so quietly, not right there in the gym/office/Macca's parking lot.

But are you really feeling any less, or have you just become more adept at deceiving others, and/or yourself?

Every life-stage has its share of novelty — first kiss, first tax return, first twinge of certain death — but when it comes to new experiences most of us peak in infancy. Just laying there, gargling and soiling our nappies, we as infants cycle through thousands of firsts.

It would be nice to remember some of them, as our lives slow down — as we settle into the same office chair for the 200th time, and sip from the same novelty coffee mug. But infancy scans as a blank for most of us.