Babies on the Brink: Do infants learn to fear heights as they learn to crawl?


Saving the video for later, but I can confirm that neither of my children learned to fear heights as they learned to crawl (evidenced by them flinging themselves from various heights all over the house with no regard for their own safety, well after they learned to crawl).

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A good time to mention [this][1] Onion story.

But seriously, I’m surprised that hasn’t already been settled. Given the propensity of toddlers to fall down stairs, I’m inclined to say no. But that may have something to do with their motor skills and not the concept of injurious falling per se.

It’s usually not the case that infants are happily crawling along beside a ledge, then fall over sideways. Very often (more often than not? I thankfully haven’t collected enough anecdata to say for sure) they just crawl (or later, toddle/walk) head-first right off the ledge.

My mother tried this withn the glass counters in the shop my gran worked in with my little sister. She went right over the edge without a care. Which says a lot about my little sister…

Actually if you watch the video, it means your sister is just like every other baby.

It is certainly interesting to learn that there are four phases that babies go through as they learn to perambulate. But the research really seems more about the idea of fear - the conclusion being that they’re not afraid, but that they “know if they can make it or not” which means that fear comes later in cognitive development. They don’t say when but I imagine it’s in the 3-5 year old range when children can start putting cause with effect, i.e. if I go fast on my scooter and I fall then I will hurt myself.

She’s thirty. There’s no hope :smiley:


I guess she’ll just need one of these;

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Zorb intervention!

It’s not a phobia if it’s perfectly rational. Drop that baby on its head, and it learns real quick.

From the Annals of Adorable Research?

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