Take the 11-Point New-Parent Quiz

Researchers at the University of Rochester have concluded that nearly one-third of American parents don’t know what to expect of their infants.

The researchers analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of 10,361 children and their primary caregivers, measuring the caregivers’ responses to 11 questions covering behavior and milestones.

Those who scored 4 or fewer correct answers were labeled bad parents. Oops, I mean they were "considered to have low-level knowledge of typical infant development."

I smelled an opportunity to inflate the egos of Thingamababy readers by requesting and then presenting you those questions. Here we go…

The correct answers are hidden as white text on the page’s white background. Click your mouse, drag and highlight past the end of the question or statement to see the correct answer. Make a note of how many questions you get wrong.

Answer YES or NO to the following statements (do you agree with these statements?):

1. All infants need the same amount of sleep.   NO.
More information.

2. A young brother or sister may start wetting the bed or thumbsucking when a new baby arrives in the family.   YES.
More information.

3. A child thinks he is speaking correctly even when he says words and sentences in an unusual or different way, like "I goed to town" or "What the dollie have?"   YES.
More information.

4. Children learn all of their language by copying what they have heard adults say.   NO.
More information.

Answer the following questions YES or NO, then OLDER or YOUNGER.

5. A one-year-old knows right from wrong. Would a child be older or younger than one year when she knows right from wrong?   NO. (Older.)
More information.

6. A baby will begin to respond to her name at 10 months. Would a child be younger or older than 10 months when she first responds to her name?   NO. (Younger.)
More information.

7. Most infants are ready to be toilet trained by one year of age. Would most infants be younger or older than one year when they are ready to be toilet trained?   NO. (Older)
More information

8. A baby of 12 months can remember toys he has watched being hidden. Would a baby be younger or older than 12 months when he first remembers toys he has watched being hidden?   YES. (Younger)
More information.

9. One-year-olds often cooperate and share when they play together. Would children be younger or older than one year when they often cooperate and share when they play together?   NO. (Older)
More information.

10. A baby is about 7 months old before she can reach for and grab things. Would a baby be younger or older than 7 months before she can reach for and grab things?   NO. (Younger)
More information.

11. A baby usually says his first real word by six months of age. Would a baby be younger or older than six months when he says his first real word?   NO. (Older)
More information.


Questions 1 through 4 are worth 1 point each. Questions 5 through 11 are worth 1 point each, but only if you correctly answer both parts of each question. A total score of 11 is possible. If you score 4 or less, you flunk.

Researchers gave the quiz to primary caregivers of children ages 8- to 13-months-old, telling them to respond regarding infants in general, not their own child. Unlike you, they had the option of giving a "don’t know" or "unsure" response.

The Rest of the Research

The university researchers then compared the 11-question test responses to the same families’ responses on a 73-point videotape analysis of parent-child interactions and the parents’ own reported frequency of engaging in enrichment activities (reading books, singing songs, you know — paying attention to your kid).

Their conclusion: 31.2 percent of parents have low-level knowledge of infant development, and those parents are more likely to have less education and income. They were also less likely to engage in enrichment activities and less likely to have "healthy interactions" during those activities.

Linked here are PDFs of the news release (also available as a web page at the university’s website), and an abstract of the research study.

So, how did you do? What do you think of the questions? What surprised or is surprising you about having a baby?

I remember being frustrated at how long it takes for a baby to play with blocks, and virtually every toy purchased with excitement far earlier than a baby would be prepared to handle and understand it.


10 Responses to “Take the 11-Point New-Parent Quiz”

  1. JMo says:

    10/11 here. (I missed #4 which possibly explains why my kid doesn’t talk yet?) Pre-child my score would have been so low that the gov’t wouldn’t required me to tie my tubes.

    May 15th, 2008 at 8:49 am

  2. Allison (CodeCrafter) says:

    I also got 10/11. Missed #3. I also would have scored really low on this before I had a child.

    May 15th, 2008 at 9:20 am

  3. Cindi says:

    I did pretty well! I read a lot of research and such even though my sons are past these very early ages! My Psychology degree makes me very curious about many studies. The answers didn’t surprise me. Thanks for the quiz. It was fun!

    May 15th, 2008 at 11:09 am

  4. RobMonroe says:

    I got a perfect score! I’m a perfect father! (oh, wait.)

    The questions are pretty good. Good variety. I’ll pass this along to my expectant-friend to see how she does.

    May 15th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

  5. michele says:

    I was shocked to see I scored 11 out of 11. My son is 2.5 years old. Pre-child, I too, probably would have gotten very few questions correct. That was fun, thanks for posting. Now I want to quiz all my friends. :)

    May 15th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

  6. Nancy says:

    11 right! I also would have failed this majorly before having kids.

    May 16th, 2008 at 9:57 am

  7. Complainy pants says:

    Whoa…9/11! Not bad-my baby is almost 6 months so 6 and 9 got me. My son is not really responding to his name yet so I guess that’s why I got it wrong! Thanks for this! I had fun doing the quiz and I was totally into the reading. I’m a teacher too and know Piaget’s studies of child development. Incidentally Piaget totally explains that whole hoopla over Baby Einstein dumbing down kids. But that’s a comment for another post for another time! Cheers!

    May 17th, 2008 at 10:21 am

  8. Goofy format says:

    Questions 5 to 11 seem to be written to optimize confusion. No wonder people did so badly!

    May 17th, 2008 at 9:41 pm

  9. Emily says:

    The last half of that quiz is just plain confusing. I did well on the older/younger part but didn’t understand the Yes/No part.

    May 19th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

  10. ecb says:

    8 months pregnant and 10/11. Not bad! Missed #7 – I blame it on reading up too much on infant potty training. :-)

    May 25th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

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