What is a Baby Scientist?

One of the most famous psychologists of all time was a Swiss scientist named Jean Piaget. He came up with a theory of how we learn about the world that spanned the newborn period through adulthood, and he did it by simply watching the behaviors of his own three kids. Piaget likened his children to “baby scientists”—experimenting with their environments to learn new things. His research inspired many psychologists to become baby scientists, carrying on his legacy by observing infant and child development to learn how we become the people we are.


That’s what I am—a baby scientist; it’s my job to study how children develop and to educate others about what I’ve learned. Since I became a mom, my job has taken on a whole new life as I watch the lessons I regularly teach college students unfold in my own home. As Piaget predicted nearly a century ago, somewhere between 4 and 8 months of age, my own baby scientist began to notice that his body could have an effect on the outside world, and suddenly every object he touched became an outlet for learning.


In this blog, I will share a bit about development with you, including both the scientific and real world elements of having a child. Based on lessons learned from Piaget, we don’t need to wear white lab coats to be baby scientists—any mom or dad can do it at home by simply marveling at the wonder of their own children.


My baby scientist at 9 months, enjoying the effect he has on the outside world.