Keep Talking To Your Baby - It Helps Speech Development

02/09/2014 16:32 | Updated 20 May 2015

Babbling to babies helps speech development

Talking to babies even when they cannot talk back helps them learn to speak and communicate, according to new research.

A new study from the University of Iowa and Indiana University, shows mums and dads who talk to their baby when they are just babbling but not actually speaking are helping their babies' language development.

'Parental feedback' - as it's officially known – is a vital process that helps children learn to communicate.

Researchers added that parents who consciously chat to their babies will speed up their children's language development.

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The research teams observed interactions between 12 mums and their eight-month-old babies twice a month for 20 minutes over a six-month period.

They discovered babies whose mums replied to their 'chatter' in a way which matched what they thought they were trying to say, showed an increase in more complex sounds.

Babies whose mums did not try and understand their babbling, and instead directed their babies' attention to something else, did not show the same rate of growth and development in their language and communication skills.

Dr Gros-Louis from the study said: "It's not that we found responsiveness matters. It's how a mother responds that matter.

"The infants were using vocalisations in a communicative way, in a sense, because they learned they are communicative."

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