Baby quiz aims to reassure parents about child's aptitude
By Terri Judd
28 October 2004

Parental one-upmanship has become so intense that a quiz has been developed to test the intelligence of babies.

Focusing on everything from how a baby picks up a pea to how they perform "pat-a-cake", the test promises to alert parents to whether their child is as bright as the proverbial button or destined for a dunce's hat.

In an era when mothers and fathers are increasingly competitive about their children's intelligence and education, the questionnaire is likely to be seized upon by those who just cannot wait until their offspring speaks to assess their aptitude.

Yesterday Fisher-Price, which developed the Baby Development Test in conjunction with a child psychologist, insisted it was not intended to increase playground rivalry and pressure. Instead, the toy company said it was designed to offer reassurance after research indicated that parents wanted some form of guidance.

In conjunction with the Social Issues Research Centre (Sirc), the company questioned 500 sets of parents last month. Researchers found that, while 90 per cent are confident they know when the physical milestones - such as crawling and walking - should happen, very few knew when the intellectual developmental landmarks - such as recognising and naming shapes and colours - should start.