At what point can a toddler see someone yawn and have to yawn in return?
(photo credit – my kitty, Cleo, mid yawn, ha!)
Yawns are infectious. There is no denying that you cannot see, hear or even think about yawning with out yawning back. (Have you yawned yet reading this? – if so, you can’t help it! It’s built in to us!) But what I want to know is… when does this sleepy curse kick in?
My daughter is 17.5 months old. I can yawn all day long and she doesn’t even flinch. Not even a tiny hint that she is fighting a yawn away. However, she does one yawn and poof, suddenly that power takes over me and I can’t stop myself!
Yawning is not something we choose to do. We don’t sit there and think ‘oh, I’m tired. I think I will yawn to prove it’. It is a natural thing. I don’t even know why it is a thing we do. What is it about being tired that forces our mouths to open unattractively, force an eye to close (like Cleo demonstrates above) and occasionally have a random sound at the back of our mouths? What about that screams ‘BEWARE, TIRED PERSON!’ It’s so weird!
But if it is such a natural thing… when do toddlers get this milestone? I will continue with this randomly daft experiment and get back to you!
(btw… I don’t know about you, but the word ‘yawn’ has lost all meaning in my head now. And I’ve yawned about 20 times since I started writing this…)