Before they are 3;0–3;6, children typically do not engage with peers in focused interaction, although they do with adults. With parents, children interact around the ‘here-and-now’. We hypothesize that young peers do not attempt to establish joint attention to present objects. Using the CHILDES database, we compared attention-directives produced by parents to children, children to peers, and children to parents. Of 391 English-speaking parents, 88% generated attention-directives, mostly Look!, See!, and Watch! Of 15 children (2;10–3;7) engaging in dyadic peer-interaction, only 26% produced such utterances. By comparison, 62% of 268 children (1;2–3;3) addressed such directives to parents. Interaction with peers in young children does not involve joint attention to a shared environmental focus, although it does with parents. The reason may be pragmatic: shared attention in parent–child dyads is a means to get information or help; it may seem pointless for a child to address such directives to a peer.