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Understanding Toddler Empathy Development

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Okay, so even though young children can learn to share and express their needs in very basic ways, babies cannot manipulate adults. We have established that much. But what about developing empathy?

At what age do babies or toddlers develop empathy?

The answer here might surprise you a little. I think many people have learned of tales of babes in the hospital nursery all crying at the same time simply because one baby started crying. While that may be an early precursor to empathy development, it is not quite the way you or I think about social empathy. While we know that babies are naturally self-centered (also known as ego-centric), they actually start developing signs of empathy awareness earlier than we once believed.