The Science Behind smallTalk

Download: Science Summary PDF

Creating Brain Magic

OK, it’s not magic. It’s better. There is mind-blowing science at play when your baby uses the smallTalk Paci™.


There are many neurological benefits associated with early foreign language exposure, which is why smallTalk has developed a science-based, proven language learning system that is easy for parents to implement and babies to enjoy.


Let’s dive in!

Infancy is the only time when interacting with multiple languages really changes the brain.

An illustration of a baby swaddled in a blanket

Interactive Learning is Best

Babies can learn some things just by listening (like vocabulary), but complex language learning (like phonetics and grammar) requires a baby’s participation and active engagement with the material.


smallTalk’s products use an action from the baby to trigger learning. It’s what scientists refer to as a contingent process, i.e. a learning session requires an action from the baby.


When the baby learns to intentionally ask for content, it ensures interactive learning, and that’s where the real magic happens.

Parents playing and smiling at their newborn baby

How We Talk to Babies Matters

You know who loves baby talk…babies!


There is an actual scientific reason adults naturally slip into baby talk when speaking to babies. The scientific term is infant-directed speech and what you are actually doing is using simplified grammar, higher pitch, repetition, shorter phrases, and positive emotional tone. Using baby talk makes it easier for babies to learn language, holds their attention, and tells them that the adult is communicating directly to them.


smallTalk’s learning library features all women (sorry dads, babies are drawn to women’s voices a bit better), all mothers, all speaking their native languages to provide a learning experience tailored for babies’ ability, attention span, and enjoyment!

The Earlier the Better

Babies are the best language learners in the biz.​


Infancy and early childhood is the only time a person can acquire a language (meaning to store it in the language center of the brain) vs. learning in a more traditional way (like you would math, science or history).


Babies have the unique ability to distinguish all the language sounds (scientists call these phonemes) of the world. But the brain works by quickly specializing in the phonemes it interacts with in the first year. If a baby learns more language sounds in infancy, they retain those in their brain’s make-up for their whole life. Making it possible to learn a language with native fluency and forever changing their brain for the better.

The 'Bilingual Advantage'

This is what scientists call the proven benefits of a bilingual brain.

Permanent Neural Connections in the Brain

(your baby will always retain the phonemes of that language)

Improved Executive Functioning

(tasks like shifting attention switching tasks, and solving problems)

Improved Communication Skills and Cognitive Flexibility

(the brain's ability to adapt to different situations)

Increased Creativity & Musicality

(additional benefits of cognitive flexibility and metalinguistic skills)

Increased Metalinguistic Skills

(the ability to think about language and how it works)

Easier Learning of Foreign Languages for Life

(even if they don't immediatedly go on to learn the language in childhood)

Want to Learn More?

Download the full paper which dives deeper into these topics (i.e. with footnotes to scientific studies to verify that was we just said is, in fact, true).

Join the Waitlist for the smallTalk Paci™

The smallTalk Paci takes your baby’s engagement to the next level, and is coming in 2024!

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