The idea that infant participation in research is achievable by researchers 'voicing' infants' experiences and 'perspectives' is a central feature of current moves towards participatory research. In this article we offer an alternative. Specifically, we suggest a different point of reference than infants' own experiences and 'perspectives'; namely, the encounter between researcher and infant as it unfolds in practice. Drawing from a large-scale study of infants in family day care, and Merleau-Ponty's notions of écart and reversibility, we articulate the possibility that infants' participation in research encounters may be felt by researchers in the ways that infants evoke embodied responses. Drawing on Dillon's ethics of particularity, which builds upon écart and reversibility, we discuss the idea that researchers' embodied responses to infants provoke possibilities for ethical reflection, which can afford new ways of 'going on'. We propose that space may be created for infants to influence ECEC practice when researchers attend to their own embodied responses to infants during the research encounter; and to the factors that may diminish infants' capacities to affect such responses.