From too-loud voices to having a dirty diaper, there are plenty of things that babies are clearly not big fans of. But it turns out there's one thing that you might not realize they hate until you're at a picnic or hanging out in your backyard. You'll go to place your child on what looks like a dry, thick patch of lush grass, and they'll do everything they can to weasel away from it. Don't believe us? Look no further than a slew of viral videos of babies hating grass.
All over social media and YouTube, you'll find videos of babies refusing to put their bare legs or feet on grass. We can't say we know exactly when this amazing trend started, but back in 2017, a father named Pazi D. posted this hilarious video of his grass-phobic baby girl Kai on the Urban Dads Facebook page and over on YouTube. He noted, "My 11-month-old daughter turns into a gymnast around grass!"
Another compilation video to hit YouTube in 2020 featured several children pulling the same stunt. Babies will do full-on splits or simply put their legs straight out to avoid contact with a spiky lawn.
And this adorable compilation shows babies refusing to put their clothed tummies on the grass or flirting with the idea by putting a foot off of a picnic blanket before quickly backing off.
So Why Do Babies Avoid Grass At All Costs?
Sharp, ticklish, and/or wet blades of grass can catch even a grown-up off-guard, so it's no surprise that babies have a tough time with the overwhelming sensory experience that can occur as a result of being planted on the ground.
"The prickly texture and feel of grass is far different than softer and more comfortable feeling of carpet, tile, and wood surfaces on their feet, hands, and body, so babies are often scared of it," notes Gina Posner, M.D., a pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
What's more, grass can be itchy (hey, even to adults) and even cause rashes, points out Dr. Posner. "That can also make babies more adverse to crawling or playing on it," she says.
One study, published in the journal Cognition, notes that babies are skeptical about plants in general. "Infants as young as eight months exhibit greater reluctance to manually explore plants compared to other entities," the authors note. The reason: They might be hard-wired to be sensitive to "ancestrally recurrent dangers" that stem from plants, like being posioned from something toxic.
Nonetheless, plenty of little ones are perfectly fine playing in the backyard or on a stretch of lawn at the park sans blanket—so it can be worth a shot to consider whether your baby falls into this category. Dr. Posner concludes, "Despite grass sometimes getting a bad reputation with babies, there are definitely some who do enjoy it."