Babies: Their Wonderful World

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Becoming Independent

Series 1 - Episode 3 Becoming Independent



The babies in this charming series have all been remarkably comfortable wearing complicated caps to measure their brain activity and tonight a toddler is very sanguine about being fitted with a cumbersome eye-tracker camera. This is so we can see exactly what the tiny subject sees as he starts to walk.

The final episode is packed with surprising and informative experiments, including seeing exactly what goes on as a two-year-old slips into a frustration-triggered, back-arching, shrieking tantrum. (Distraction is a parent’s best bet for ending the yelling and tears.)

There’s a lot about the importance of crawling (for the development of depth and visual perception) and we learn about the optimum time for a baby to pick up multiple languages, something at which they are extraordinarily adept. But most of all, it’s a simple joy to see the babies and toddlers hurtling full-pelt at discovering everything life has to offer.


Paediatrician Guddi Singh looks at how children begin to become independent, with Professor Elisabeth Hill testing newly crawling babies with an optical illusion made of Perspex that looks like a sheer, vertical drop. Dr Emily Jones visits 18-month-old Amaya and attaches sensors to her to monitor the physiological changes in her body during a tantrum, while Professor Usha Goswami attaches young babies to highly sensitive brain scanners to see how the infants respond to different types of speech.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Guddi Singh
Executive Producer Fiona Caldwell
Executive Producer Sanjay Singhal
Series Director Helen Sage
Series Director Serena Davies
Series Producer Helen Sage
Series Producer Serena Davies
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Documentary Education