The possibility that the self-fulfilling prophecy process can adversely affect the caregiving environment of premature infants was explored in this study. A portion of this process was investigated experimentally by assessing cognitive and behavioral reactions of 27 mothers to unfamiliar full-term infants who were labeled either full-term or premature. Infants who were described as premature were touched less and given a more immature toy to play with, were rated as smaller, finer-featured, and less cute, and were liked less than infants who were labeled full-term. In turn, infants labeled premature were less active during the interaction than infants labeled full-term. College students who later observed the videotapes made of the mother-infant interactions were able to accurately guess which label was assigned to the infants. The results of this study further support the existence of a prematurity stereotype and the impact of expectations on perceptions and behavior.