How you talk to your baby can have a big impact on their language and cognitive development. 

 

Did you know that there is a scientific, evolutionary reason you may find yourself speaking in a higher pitch, with slower and more enunciated words when you are talking to a baby? What is commonly referred to as “babytalk” is not just adorable, but also remarkably helpful to your baby.

 

Scientists call this infant-directed speech and it is actually preferred by babies. It not only keeps their attention longer, but it helps them learn language more effectively.

 

In a recent study, coaching parents to use infant-directed speech resulted in more verbal babies by 14 months in age. These babies also had a significantly better vocabulary than those whose parents did not receive the coaching. 

 

Parents, as baby’s first teachers, you can have a direct impact on your child’s language development just by the way you use your voice. 

 

Fun fact: This is why smallTalk’s learning library is intentionally recorded by mothers using infant-directed speech.

 

For more information on the study and on infant-directed speech, visit these resources:

 

Science Daily: Parents learn, babies talk: How coaching moms and dads improves infants’ language skills

 

YouTube: Dr Marina Kalashnikova, ‘Babytalk or Infant-directed Speech’

Growing Up Brainy is brought to you by smallTalk. smallTalk allows your baby to engage with foreign language through play. This interactive language exposure during infancy results in what we like to call brain magic-- wiring your little one’s brain with the building blocks of a new language and gaining them a different and better brain for a lifetime. Look for our first product, the smallTalk Egg, launching this fall of 2021.

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