Support for PBS Parents provided by:

  • Cat in the Hat
  • Curious George
  • Daniel Tiger
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Nature Cat
  • Odd Squad
  • Ready Jet Go
  • Peg + Cat
  • Splash and Bubbles
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Super Why!
  • Wild Kratts
  • Thomas & Friends
  • Arthur
  • Bob the Builder
  • Martha Speaks
  • WordGirl
  • Sesame Street
  • The Electric Company
  • Cyberchase
  • Between the Lions
  • Caillou
  • Chuck Vanderchuck
  • Oh Noah
  • Fetch!
  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab
  • Maya & Miguel
  • Mister Rogers
  • Postcards from Buster
  • Clifford
  • SciGirls
  • Wilson & Ditch
  • WordWorld
  • DragonFly TV
  • ZOOM

Child Development

Babies are Natural Copycats

You are your baby’s first teacher. Your home is your child’s first classroom. Every waking hour, your child is learning something. And most likely, it’s something from you.

copycatYour baby was born a copycat.
You don’t have to teach your newborn to copy you, because babies are born with a natural ability to copy basic facial expressions. So when you smile, your baby might smile too. If you stick your tongue out, your baby might stick out his tongue in return.

Your baby learns by copying your behavior.
Babies learn a lot by watching what you do and then trying it themselves — whether it’s positive or negative. So watch what you do. Do you yell when you’re stuck in traffic? Do you blame others when you get frustrated with yourself? Whatever you do, your baby is probably learning something from you, her most important teacher.

Your baby may remember what she copies.
By age one, babies can remember and imitate actions they observed a month ago. They learn what mommies and daddies can do by watching what you do.

Your baby may copy other people.
Every person your baby watches might teach her something. Because your baby has the ability to copy something from everyone he meets.

Your baby might copy what she sees on TV.
Research shows that children under the age of two are on average exposed to at least two hours a day of TV. If your child watches TV, he may also be copying TV behavior. A study reveals that even toddlers 14- to 24-months-old will copy simple actions they see on TV.

  • OldMotherHubbard

    This article has a lot of truth to it! I have 3 children: one 20 year old, a 19 year old and a 2 month old. Be careful of what your child is exposed to ALWAYS! Most will agree not to argue in front of children but, recanting that argument with a friend on the phone while your baby plays nearby still exposes him to that bad vibe! Something to think about…

  • Amanda

    My son recently went with his dad for the first time ever and since he’s been home he’s been doing a “humping” action quite frequently. Should I be worried about this? I do not engage in adult activities around my son but his dad did send me a picture of him with our son laying in a bed together. HELP!

Sign up for free newsletters.

Connect with Us

PBS Parents Picks

  1. Wild Kratts image

    Wild Kratts App Teaches Young Children How to Care for Animals

    In this app, kids are charge of feeding, washing, and playing with baby animals.

  2. Curious Kids image

    How (And Why) To Encourage Curiosity

    "...when people are curious about something, they learn more, and better."

  3. Gardening Benefits image

    The Benefits of Gardening With Kids

    Don’t let the idea overwhelm you. A few containers and soil in a sunny spot will do.