How Paying Attention to Baby Babble Could Help Your Child

Listening to your baby babble is awfully cute, but let’s face it – that nonsense chatter does make communication a little more difficult. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier if you child could speak words sooner than expected?

It’s possible, but not through watching videos, using the latest technology, or buying some new baby gadget. All you have to do is give them your attention and babble back.

A recent study by professors in Iowa and Indiana looked at the interactions between eight-month olds and parents during 30 minute play sessions every other week. They discovered that a baby’s talk became more advanced and babble turned into words faster when a parent acknowledged and responded to the baby during vocalization – but only while the baby was looking at the parent. This was validated a month after the study, when parents were surveyed and those who were more attentive to baby babble said their child made more gestures and said more words at 15 months.

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The moral of the story is to do exactly what those parents did:  connect with your baby by engaging and giving him your attention. You may not be able to understand it, but respond anyway and look at him while doing so.

This practice shouldn’t come across as shocking, and neither should the results of this study. Parents are supposed to acknowledge and engage with children all the time, but doing so is becoming harder in a world where we’re all mesmerized by our devices.

We’d all do well do respond to the babble at a very young age. The baby talk may seem like silly nonsense that has no meaning or bearing on anything, but the child wants that most precious commodity of yours and will respond to it by growing at a more rapid pace – and that commodity is time.

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How Paying Attention to Baby Babble Could Help Your Child

Tom Konecny is a dad of four children and husband to wife, Erika. Tom currently serves as a private consultant in writing, communications and marketing. In 2013, Tom founded Dad Marketing, a site dedicated to exploring the world of marketing to dads. He previously worked in sports marketing, served as an associate editor and writer for several publications, and directed an award-winning corporate marketing department. His first book, "DADLY Dollar$" will be published this summer, and he is c ... More

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