7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing

“Your baby is smarter than you think.”

Josh Malerman
7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: A baby eating a cake

Do you believe that babies are cute, innocent bundles of joy, devoid of all the evils that the adults entertain? Well, if you are one among them, we would like you to stop for a moment, to turn down your love for babies and think as you read.

The tininess, fragility, and beauty of a baby make us forget that he is another Sapien, either innately possessing or able to foster all the negative and positive human attributes. Keeping this in mind, if we analyze the traits of these darling babies, some of the things they do might seem disturbing.

So, pause your love rush for a few minutes and read some of the shocking things that these sweethearts are capable of doing.

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing

Lying Comes Naturally

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: Mothers with their babies

Babies are born with an innate potentiality to lie. It is not something they learn from their surroundings; they impulsively know it. Vasudevi Reddy, the psychology department head at the University of Portsmouth, in a study that challenges the innocence of babies, claims that infants learn to deceive even before they talk.[1]

Research even proves that babies are attention-seeking beings who desire to be in the limelight. They cry out “alligator tears” to entreat the attention of their parents, who might think the baby is hungry, but in reality, it is just a trick to be in the spotlight.

Speaking from the evolutionary perspective, kids who get proper attention, care, and food survive better. Hence this deceiving attribute could also be a feature of evolution, ensuring the “survival of the fittest”.

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: A baby crying

Before learning to speak, babies practice different means of forging a conversation, and lying is one among them. It is not that they have any malign motive behind their actions, but the fact that this trait is inborn, and if not checked and morally corrected by parents, can grow and produce habitual liars is unsettling.

Biased Babes

While adults relish in the idea that “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”, babies prove that beauty standards are intrinsic to them. Research shows that face recognition is inherent in infants and is not something to be learned.

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: Baby

Alan Slater and his team at the University of Exeter performed an experiment in which they showed different images to as young as one-day-old babies and found that they preferred to fix their vision on more attractive pictures. Research even proves that babies find beautiful people to be more trustworthy.[2]

The above observation evinces that babies bear prejudice against less attractive people. It also dismisses the Lockean idea of the human mind being a “blank slate”. On the contrary, they are born with an adequately developed perception system.

This prejudice appears ugly when performed by an adult, but it becomes more shocking and even disheartening to witness in a child. In a decade focused on subverting stereotypes, it is perturbing to find that we are innately born with one.


7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: Baby crying lying on the ground

Many babies tend to shove, kick or even bite other babies intentionally. Physical aggression in babies can stem from being curious or jealous of other babies. This trait resounds with the adult notion of being competitive and pursuing power.

Though adults endeavor to seek power through learning and legitimate manipulation, babies try hitting and biting to assert control in their baby land. Physical aggression is another mode of communication practiced by babies to converse what they can not articulate in words.

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: Baby

Because babies do not have an engineered sense of empathy, pushing others gives them a sense of having gained power in the world. Even if the other baby begins to cry, they do not understand it and continue to believe that what they have done is fascinating. 

This attribute resonates with the irresistible human desire to be ambitious without considering the consequences it would have on others. It is interesting to notice that some of the most destructive adult behaviors are those we possessed at infancy and were probably ignored by our parents, thinking it to be cute.

Defiant Darlings

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: Baby

The inane attribute of throwing tantrums and being stubborn to get what they want proves that babies are inherently adept at defiance.

This irritation and resistance not only depicts their frustration at not getting what they want but is also an assertion of their choice to not perform the task forced upon them. Babies also desire to be free, to exercise their will, and to not be under control.

Research has discovered that babies less than 18 months old do not practice defiance purposely. Instead, it is an inborn impulse and hence more troubling as it is not something that can be eradicated but can only be suppressed.[3]

Whereas babies more than 18 months old start understanding that they are entities, separate from their mother, and have their own thought process. As a result of this revelation, they try to acquire power in whatever minute form they can to prevent themselves from being controlled.

Selfish Sweethearts

Born without the ability to understand the concept of personal ownership, babies tend to lay claim on everything they see around. And to get the thing they desire, babies practice indirect stealing.

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: A baby crying

They will cry, screech, bite and bang their head until they make you feel guilty and persuade you to get them the thing they want. Otherwise, if that thing is in their reach, they grab it tightly with their small, innocent hands and will not let it go.

Research has proved that this selfish tendency in kids to assert everything as “that is mine,” though not intentionally evil, inculcates in them a feeling of power and pleasure.

Children even develop an ability to recognize the behavioral patterns of their parents and use them to exert power over them. Observation proves that kids want everything according to their liking. They deprive their mothers of sleep by crying and yelling, which most of the time is only because the kid has got to play.

Why Should Adults Have All the Fun

Now, this might sound weird; but yes, baby boys have an erection. And not only that, research shows that boy fetuses have erections in the uterus itself.[4]

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: A father with his baby

But the good part is that it is nothing to worry about as it is not associated with any sensual pleasure or arousal. Instead, the baby’s genitals are sensitive organs reflexive towards the touch. Erection occurs when the cloth rubs against their genitals, if their bladder is full, and they feel the urge to urinate or even randomly.

It might look like a big concern when observed for the first time but is a biological indication of everything functioning perfectly well. So, the next time you see your little one’s genitals not so little, do not panic it is natural.

Breath-Taking Babes

Babies experience breath-holding spells which can last till their face turns blue and they finally pass out. Though these spells are not intentional and have no serious risks involved, they can be scary to witness for the first time.

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: A baby sleeping

A cyanotic breath-holding spell is when a child exhales and does not take another breath until his face turns blue. Shock, pain, fear, anger, or anything that upsets the baby’s mood can be a trigger for these spells.[5]

Whereas, the pallid breath-holding spell is when the child is startled or frightened and holds his breath for over a minute. Though unintentionally, it seems babies have a great way of scaring us out.

“We all have a Monster within; the difference is in degree, not in kind.”

Douglas Preston

All the above attributes indicate that there is an artificiality associated with growing up as if there is a wilderness innate to human beings and, we are constantly trying to curb it according to the standards and sophistication of the civilized society.

Maybe these relatively evil qualities are the remnants of our wild ancestors, reminding us of who we are, which can even be eradicated in the future course of evolution. Along with bestowing love and affection to kids, we should be aware of the potential evils they possess as human beings and should not force our expectations on them.

7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing: A baby holding his parent's hand

In saying so, we do not opine that a child has to be left on its own without proper guidance and care. Contrastingly, the above traits highlight the importance and utmost need of good parenting, without which the child can go astray in a civilized society.

Liked 7 Shocking Things That Babies Are Capable of Doing? Also read, 10 Bizarre Schools That You Would Not Believe Exist.

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