Posts Tagged ‘ baby development ’

Want to Boost Baby’s Language Skills? Try Talking Back!

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

baby-babblingAfter months of either relative silence or incessant crying, most parents welcome baby’s stream of babbling with open arms. (Finally, no more one-sided convos!) But a new study found that how you respond to your infant’s gibberish could have a major impact on how and when she communicates.

Researchers at the University of Iowa and Indiana University discovered that when parents listen and respond to babbling, they’re telling their children that they can communicate, which in turn leads to an earlier use of language. (It’s kind of that whole fake-it-til-you-make-it idea.)

The study, published in the July/August edition of the journal Infancy, involved 12 moms interacting with their 8-month-old infants twice a month for 30 minutes over the course of six months. Researchers observed how the moms responded to their babies’ babbling and cooing during the free time play. They found that children whose mothers tried to understand their sounds were more prone to making babble that sounded like actual words — what experts call consonant-vowel vocalizations. Over time, these babies also started directing their gibberish right to mom, just like in a real conversation. On the other hand, infants whose moms didn’t engage as much with their babble and instead redirected their attention to something else didn’t show the same level of growth in language development.

Still, that doesn’t mean you have to jump into a lengthy conversation every time baby opens her mouth. “It’s not that we found responsiveness matters,” says Julie Gros-Louis, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Iowa and corresponding author on the study. “It’s how a mother responds that matters.”

While the study’s authors admitted that more research with a larger sample size is needed, these findings are a terrific reminder that we parents are our baby’s best teachers. Sure, you might feel a little silly narrating your daily errands to your newborn right now, but it won’t be long before she lets out that first “ba ba ba” — and you’ll realize the conversation is just beginning.

Tell us: How do you respond to your baby’s babbling?

When’s baby’s next big change coming? Take our Baby Milestone Tracker Quiz to get a heads-up. to And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

How to Help Your Baby Be More Social
How to Help Your Baby Be More Social
How to Help Your Baby Be More Social

Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock

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Why Are These Two Babies Making News?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Every mom is convinced her baby is head and shoulders above the rest, but some may just have legit bragging rights on the playground.

Consider British mother Onyi Chiedozie, whose infant daughter Amara is already making international headlines after figuring out how to hold a bottle to her mouth and feed herself — at the ripe age of three days old! Now three weeks old, the pint-sized phenom can even push away the bottle when she’s done with it. (For the record, the average baby doesn’t master that whole grabbing thing until the six-month mark.) Onyi is so blown away by her daughter’s feats that she’s been documenting them every day. And while some moms (okay, me) would have taken the accomplishment as a sign of their baby’s natural genius, Chiedozie is much more pragmatic. “I just think she has a lot of strength,” she told the Daily Mail. “I’m not sure why, though, as she wasn’t particularly heavy when she was born.” (Amara weighed a 6 lbs. 3 oz. at birth.)

On the other side of the pond, another kiddo is making news — but not for her physical prowess. Drew Barrymore’s daughter, Olive, isn’t two years old yet but she is already showing signs of becoming a serious bibliophile. According to celebritybabyscoop, the proud mom posted an adorable Instagram photo of Olive curled up on a beach chair poring over Tina Fey’s memoir, Bossypants. “One of my favorite girls reading one of my favorite books written by one of my favorite women! #tinafeyrules #summerreading,” Barrymore wrote in the caption. And sure, while the chances that Olive can actually read and comprehend the book are pretty slim, the budding bookworm does appear to be taken with the words on the page. Which makes sense, since reading time is a big deal in Barrymore’s house. “I read Olive a lot of books,” the mom of two told Us Weekly last year. “She loves books! That’s her favorite thing in the world — books.”

Now it’s your turn to brag — what’s your baby doing lately that amazes you? 

Have questions about your baby? We’ve got the answers — consult our comprehensive Baby Q&A. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

Before Your Child Starts Reading...
Before Your Child Starts Reading...
Before Your Child Starts Reading...

Image of Olive courtesy of Drew Barrymore via Instagram

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Kristen Bell Shares Baby Lincoln’s Cuteness

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Kristen Bell is always good for a funny story or two when she shows up on Ellen. (She’s a family favorite in my house—I loved her on Veronica Mars and House of Lies, and my daughters, naturally, ADORE Frozen.)

And now that her baby daughter Lincoln, with husband Dax Shepard, has turned one, Kristen has some pretty funny stories to tell—like that one of her daughter’s first three words is “boobies.” (BTW, way to go, Kristen, for continuing to breastfeed at age 1!) And Kristen’s hysterical reenactments of her daughter’s dance moves are well worth taking the few minutes to check out. (Who knew there was a dance move called the “New Jersey Turnpike?”)

It’s clear that Kristen is loving that one-year-old period with Lincoln as much as we did with our daughters. (And in fact, she’s even said she plans to step back a bit from her career to spend more time with her daughter.) Kids do so many amazing things around that time period—first words, first dances, and all kinds of adorableness. I remember when we fed my oldest daughter, Katie, ice cream, and she was so hopped up on it that she tried to play with a baby piano and a playhouse simultaneously. And my youngest daughter, Maggie, used to giggle and try to charm her way out of bedtime every night. (Though that’s a behavior that continues even though she’s now seven!)

Tell us: What are some of the cutest things your one-year-old did? Share your stories!

Development Milestones: Age12 Months
Development Milestones: Age12 Months
Development Milestones: Age12 Months

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