Intelligence of a 10 month old baby

I have a 10 month old niece . It was quite surprising to see her communicating so well. She would pick up a toy and throw it down and I would pick it up in an overdramatic way(like when we play with children) and she laughed a lot while playing like that. Another day, we were playing the same game and after playing a few times I didn’t pick up the toy; She looked at me and made a particular noise, as if urging me to listen to her and then pointed at the toy she had thrown. After I picked it up , we started playing again like before. I tried not picking up the toy again after a while and she repeated the same behavior.
She also points at the foods she wants to eat when someone else is eating. She has started recognizing all the family members now, so when we ask her like where is papa, then she will point at her father. She points at the particular toys she wants to play with too.

Another behavior I observed in her was how careful she is. She’s learning to walk now, and can walk a few steps with the support of a table or chair. However when she’s walking and there’s no support anymore, she maybe understands that she can fall down and so she sits down. This has happened quite a few times. This behavior I also observed in my nephew( 4 years old now) when he was her age. When we would have him sit in a small tub filled with water, he would always hold the tub tightly so as to not fall down. He was also very careful about whether he’d fall or not while learning to walk just like my niece.


It is fascinating to watch children and compare them to young of other animals at the same age. Have you read Alison Gopnik’s, The Gardener and the Carpenter? She has excellent insights inferred from behavioral experiments that they have done with children of all ages including infants.