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Baby Talk - Best ways to get your baby to say their first words

Three things parents can do to get their baby to talk
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Posted at 10:49 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 08:10:19-05

ORLANDO, Fla. — ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Trying to get your baby to say their first words? Here’s details on a particular type of parental language that can help parents boost their babies language skills.

Researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences recorded 77 pairs of babies and parents as they spoke to their six, then ten and finally 14-month-old babies. They found parents who used parentese -- higher pitch, slower tempo, and exaggerated vowels and words -- had babies who babbled more at six months compared to babies whose parents didn’t speak that way. Researchers coached parents and gave them linguistic feedback at the six and ten-month mark.

The researchers measured again at 14 months and found the parents who received the coaching increased the amount of parentese spoken by 15 percent. They also had babies with a larger vocabulary. So parents, use parentese to engage with your infant during every day moments, like feedings and playtime. You could be building your child’s vocabulary one word at a time.

Researchers found that social economic status was not a factor. In other words, the coaching tips worked across a range of socioeconomic status backgrounds.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.