Babies Don’t Find Yawning Contagious

May 13, 2011 at 2:00 am 6 comments

By Kaye Nemec

You’ll probably find yourself yawning throughout this post. For adults, talking about yawning, reading about yawning and watching someone yawn is oftentimes contagious. In fact, at least 50% of adults will automatically yawn if they see another person yawning.

But this contagious behavior does not develop in children until around the age of five. Before age five babies will yawn as a sign of tiredness, but usually only a couple of times per day. On average, adults yawn seven times per day.

In the study performed by the University of Stirling, mothers reported that their babies did not respond to their yawns by yawning. Toddlers who watched a video of people yawning also did not respond by yawning.

Once children reach twelve years old they have usually transitioned into the contagious yawn stage and have a tendency to yawn contagiously as frequently as an adult.

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Sources: CBC,

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Patrick  |  May 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I tried hard not to… but I ended up yawning after reading this :(

  • 2. Anita B  |  May 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I yawned the moment I read the title of this post!

  • 3. Kristen  |  May 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Does anyone know why yawns are contagious for adults?

    • 4. lostneedle  |  August 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      I yawned too, people who yawn when others do are more compassionate, they understand how the other is feeling and copy to show it, not sure where I read that maybe it was

  • 5. Bekah  |  May 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I was doing great until the last paragraph and a yawn slipped out.

    I had noticed, actually, that my son doesn’t yawn when I yawn, but I do when he yawns.

  • 6. Rod  |  September 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    I noticed that although my infant son was immune to yawns, he was still a carrier!


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