Researchers at Charles Sturt University put cameras on the heads of babies under the age of 18 months in a study designed to see how well young children coped in childcare settings.
The results astounded them, as the babies were found to use sophisticated techniques to form friendships, get attention and make each other laugh.
Researcher Dr. Jennifer Sumsion told news.com.au the footage showed the infants were "much more capable at a young age than we had anticipated". She said the findings "should reassure parents with children in childcare".
The babies wore the cameras on soft headbands for fifteen minute periods for the research, which was conducted on children aged six to 18 months in two childcare centres and nine family daycare homes in Australia.
Dr. Sumsion found the children were able to "interact with each other through making eye contact, subtle gestures, reaching out, and even using humour".
She said: "A child less than 12 months old handed a toy to another child then snatched it back at the last minute, and they repeated this several times in a playful manner before he handed the toy over."
The footage also showed a child new to daycare being comforted by other children:
"Others kept coming up and trying to touch her and reassure her, then realised that she was frightened as a result. And so the other children found a piece of material to cover and help shelter the new child - which worked well in comforting her."
The study was funded by the Australian Research Council, and was supported by Family Day Care Australia and KU Children's Services. Carla Northam from Family Day Care Australia said the findings would help carers better understand the children they looked after.
Aw! Have you gone 'undercover' and watched your children when they were not aware of your presence?
Have you been surprised by what you have seen?
More:Baby's First Year
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more