that responding to your baby's vocalizations speeds up language development.
Babies are God's
sweetest blessings endowed upon mankind. Carrying a baby in her womb is the most
blissful experience a woman can enjoy. Whether it is your first child or the third one, each baby is
unique in its own respect. Arrival of the new baby with its shrill
cries, exploring eyes and captivating laughter is truly a magical moment in
itself. Your joy has no bounds when you hold your baby and the baby smiles and
babbles back at you.
to talk is one of the major milestones in a baby's life. You go gaga over your baby's simple "oohs" and "aahs" and anxiously
wait for that special moment when the baby utters "mama" or "dada" for the very
Till they can express themselves in words, babies communicate
through crying, babbling, pointing and other gestures whether they are hungry
or tired or simply uncomfortable. When you respond to a baby's cooing with a
smile or some vocalization of our own, they babble even more.
When you continue talking to the baby in this way, you reinforce
the development of the infant's
language in many ways. New research has now shown that the more the mothers
respond to their babies' vocalizations, the sooner their babies develop their
language, thus building on those early brain
connections and giving them the best start to life.
As parents many
a times we don't understand the reasons behind the baby's babbling, but now
scientists say that we should respond to the infant's babbling, because doing
so would let them know that they can communicate which in turn leads to forming
complex sounds and using language more quickly.
Scientists from the University of Iowa and Indiana University who conducted this study and published their
findings in the journal Infancy
, found how parent's
response to their children's babbling can actually shape the way infants
communicate and use vocalizations.
The researchers tracked and
monitored the interactions between 12 mothers and their 8-month old babies for
30 minutes twice a month over a six month period. During each interaction
session, the scientists noted down how mothers responded when their child made
positive vocal sounds, such as cooing and babbling, which were directed at the
They found that when mothers responded positively
towards the babbling of their babies, their baby also showed greater
advancement in language development. The babies made more advanced consonant-vowel sounds or in other words their babbling started to
sound more like words. As time
progressed these babies began to direct more of their babbling towards their
Julie Gros-Louis, an
assistant professor of psychology at the University of Iowa and one of the lead
authors of this study said
"The infants were using vocalizations in a communicative way, in a sense,
because they learned they are communicative."
On the flip side, infants whose
mothers did not respond much to their baby's cooing and instead directed their
infants' attention at times to something else reportedly did not show the same
rate of growth in their language and communication skills.
A month after the completion of
the study, the mothers who participated in the study were made to complete a
survey giving information about their infant's language development. The survey
results showed that babies whose mothers were attentive to their babbling during the study period produced more words
and gestures at 15 months of age as compared to infants whose mothers who were
less attentive to their babbling throughout the study.
the past research conducted by the scientists, it was seen that infants have
similar responsiveness to both mother's and father's attentiveness, therefore
the findings of the current study can also be applied to fathers.
In a recent study conducted by American researchers, it was
seen that exposing infants to clear vocal sounds from birth helps them
distinguish language from other noises. They noted that the babies, who were
about seven months old, could differentiate talking from other sounds even when
they could not see the person speaking.
The scientists also discovered that by the age of 11
months, before they could actually speak themselves, the infants had already
learned to differentiate their mother tongue from other languages.
To help boost both the receptive and expressive language of
your baby, respond and talk often to your baby.... these little things actually
go a long way towards forming real words and conversations, so listen up and be
proud of your baby's accomplishment in every step of the way!