Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Holistic Health

Forget dumbed-down baby talk

See also

Forget the “baby talk.’” The best way for parents to give their babies a head start in comprehending the world around them is to talk in normal conversational tones, which helps infants’ as well as toddlers’ brains “build crucial language and vocabulary skills,” according to Erika Hoff, a psychology professor at Florida Atlantic University.

“The advice I give mothers is to have conversations with their babies and not ‘talk down’ to them. Children can hear lots of talk that goes over their heads in terms of the meaning, and they still benefit from it,” she told attendees at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science yesterday. She also stressed the need for parents to also sing and read to their babies even before they are capable of responding.

“The idea is to connect words and meanings so the brain becomes primed to learn through context, thus building intelligence through language,” added Anne Fernald, a psychology professor from Stamford University.



  • Dan Savage
    Dan Savage cares about LGBT youth, bullying and saving lives
    Today's Buzz
  • Raku
    Teachers and students can use this summer to learn a new skill
    15 Photos
  • Beach body
    Fitness: Earn your beach body badge with bootcamp classes
    10 Photos
  • Greek wine
    Unwind with these delicious wines: The thrilling wines of Greece
    7 Photos
  • Mandy Moore
    Exclusive interview with Celebrity Mandy Moore concerning animal activism
    5 Photos
  • Educational family vacations
    Find out how to take an educational family vacation that doesn't break the bank
    9 Photos