Why You Should Talk To Your Little One

 

We’ve all seen those moms or dads cooing and babbling to their little one, making silly faces, or telling the baby about what’s happening around them. While it may seem silly to talk to a baby before baby can really respond, those parents are doing the right thing!

As Stanford’s Dr. Anne Fernald says, “You need to start talking to them from day one.” (1)

This short video (2) from the Georgia Department of Public Health explains just some of the reasons why talking to your baby is so important.

Let’s explore a little more some of the benefits of talking to your baby.

Language Development

It may seem funny to talk with your baby before they can really talk back, but talking to them can give them a big head start on language development. One Stanford study found that talking directly to your baby can help them develop a larger vocabulary and improve their language processing skills. (3)

Interestingly enough, these benefits only happen when someone is talking directly to the baby, not just when a baby overhears conversations. As Dr. Weisleder, one of the authors of the study, explains, “Mere exposure to speech directed to others or on TV is not enough to drive early vocabulary development. Toddlers learn language in the context of meaningful interactions with those around them.” (4)

Bonding with Baby

As you take time to directly talk with your baby, this doesn’t just help with their language skills. It can also build a stronger connection between you and baby!

An important part of building that parent-child bond is taking the time to talk. Even just exchanging coos and looking into your baby’s eyes can do a lot to help you create a strong attachment with your baby. (5)

Talk Today!

The best time to start talking to your infant is today! As you expose your baby to words and sounds, you’re creating an important foundation for language development. Not only this, but those “conversations” with your little one can create a special bond.

So however old your little one is, start now and take the time to talk.

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Picture retrieved from https://www.pexels.com/photo/baby-mom-mother-family-15393/.

References

1. Sample, I. (2014, February 14). Talking to babies boosts their brain power, studies show. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/feb/14/talking-to-babies-brain-power-language

2. Georgia DPH. (2014, December 3). Talk with your baby [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEAe5gPSB9w

3. Weisleder, A., & Fernald, A. (2013). Talking to children matters: Early language experience strengthens processing and builds vocabulary. Psychological Science, 24(11), 2143-2152. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0956797613488145

4. Carey, B. (2013, October 15). Talking directly to toddlers strengthens their language skills, Stanford research shows. Retrieved from https://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/october/fernald-vocab-development-101513.html

5. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2009, November 2). Bonding with your baby. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/delivery-beyond/Pages/Bonding-With-Your-Baby.aspx

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