One way to understand kids’ development: Get a baby’s-eye view

Babies with head-mounted cameras help researchers understand early childhood development.


July 8, 2020

The SAYCam project takes the concept of baby monitoring to the next level.

Parents strap GoPro-esque cameras to their babies’ heads to give researchers a better understanding of how the young’uns interact with their environments.

Goo goo ga… what?

As OneZero explained: Environmental factors play a huge role in a kid’s development, and differences can lead to advantages or disadvantages that pile up later in life.

Trouble is, we don’t always know which elements help a child thrive. But taking a closer look — that is, getting a baby’s-eye view — could help.

It’s way more than baby talk

Here’s how the research works: Typically, babies wear the cameras 2x/week between the ages of 6 and 32 months. None of these tiny filmmakers is the next Scorsese, but their videos do show developmental psychologists what the world looks like from their perspective.

That could mean views of the carpet as seen by a crawler or shaky, “Blair Witch”-style footage from a toddler learning to walk.

The footage could help grown-ups learn, by becoming more mindful of their interactions with the little ones.

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