Talk To Your Infants

By: Jared Evan

Words play a tremendous part in a child’s brain development. Researcher Susan Hespos, of Northwestern University in Illinois, said: 'For infants as young as three months of age, words exert a special influence that supports the ability to form a category. This means a child as young as 3 months old can actually understand words and associate the word with an object. During this study, 50 three-month- old boys and girls were shown a series of pictures of fish, accompanied by either words or beeps. The study concluded the babies who actually heard the words were able to group the fish in their minds. The babies were then shown pictures of a fish and of a dinosaur side by side while the researchers measured how long they looked at each image. The study found that they looked at the fish longer than at the dinosaur, which demonstrated that they had categorized the fish in their minds. In other words, while the 3 month old infants may not be able to talk, they can grasp in their mind what a “fish” is. At 3 months old, a children’s brains are like a sponge and while they are not talking yet, they are absorbing what you speak to them.

Here are some simple steps one can use when talking to your baby. Talk to babies in a warm and happy voice. Narrate what activities you are engaging in, Talk as you're feeding, dressing, carrying, and bathing your baby, so he or she begins to associate these sounds of language with everyday objects and activities. Repeat simple words like "mama" and "bottle" often and clearly so your baby begins to hear familiar words and associate them with their meaning. Reading to infants helps their developing brain. These simple steps should be taken at an early age of 1 to 3 months. 2 Keep in mind, it is not unusual for a baby to actually begin to verbally communicate with simple sounds when they are close to a year old.

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