Family & Relationships Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk

19:26  11 may  2018
19:26  11 may  2018 Source:   qz.com

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We've heard that parents should talk to their babies . My husband and I are not very talkative . The baby becomes less energetic when he is winding down. He will be less interested in handling the book and more likely to listen to mother's or father's voice.

Babies want to listen to other babies more than they want to listen to their parents. That’s the new finding from a study by McGill University which found 6-month-old babies prefer to hear sounds from other babies rather than from a female voice, according to the university’s press release.

a group of people sitting at a table holding a baby: Seven babies sit in tummy tubs filled with water to cool down after a baby massage class held for young mothers in IJmuiden© Provided by Quartz Seven babies sit in tummy tubs filled with water to cool down after a baby massage class held for young mothers in IJmuiden We know that babies prefer the high-pitched sounds produced by their caregivers in “baby talk” over regular speech, but a new study provides an exciting new perspective. At five months of age, it seems that babies prefer to listen to the sounds of their peers to the cooing of their mother.

  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images Researchers at the University of Quebec tested babies on their preference for different speakers by using a specialized speech synthesizer. They were able to simulate the effects of the human vocal tract—the vocal cords, tongue and mouth—to create vowels with differing pitch and resonance, representing vowels produced by vocal tracts of different sizes.

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Before they start to babble themselves, babies would rather listen to other babies “ talk ” than listen to adults. The findings are important, researchers say, because an attraction to infant speech sounds may help to kick start and support the crucial processes involved in learning how to talk .

Baby crying? Don't talk , SING! Infants are soothed for twice as long when they listen to melodies compared to speech. When listening to songs, babies remained calm for around 9 minutes. For baby talk and adult speech it was roughly only half that long.

  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images The apparatus let the researchers compare babies’ responses to vowels produced by infants their own age, as well as vowels typical of an adult female’s speech. They tested the babies’ responses to different vowel sounds by training them to look towards or away from a checkerboard image. Simply by turning their heads, the babies indicated which sounds they preferred.

  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images The results were striking. Five-month-olds listened to the infant vowels for 40 percent longer than the adult vowels, showing a clear preference for vowels that closely matched the sounds they produce themselves.

  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images These findings present a new view on how we think about babies’ early language learning. A lot of existing research focuses on the effect of parents’ speech on language development; for example, how words produced in a higher pitch grab babies’ attention more easily and go on to shape their early vocabulary. And there is no denying that baby talk is important in child development. Babies who hear more high-pitched baby talk from their caregivers have larger vocabularies at two years of age and higher IQs at age seven.

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But your baby does more than passively listen in your womb. They just encourage him to make these particular associations rather than others . If you feel like talking to your baby as you move around the house or singing to him as you lie in the bath, go ahead.

McGill researchers found that babies prefer to listen to sounds from other babies compared to those made by adults. According to PBS, parents might consider speaking “parentese” to their young children, rather than more nonsensical baby talk .

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  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images But while babies prefer to listen to adult speech when it is produced at a higher pitch, a preference for infant vocalizations over and above this might have important implications for very early language learning. Authors of the study propose that it might motivate them to vocalize more in the first months of life, which could promote the transition to babble production just a few months later.

  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images Babble is the emergence of repeated language-like syllables consisting of one or two “favorite” consonants, such as “bababa.” And we now know that it is an important indication of later language ability. Earlier onset of stable babbling leads to earlier word production and a larger vocabulary in the first two years of life. With this in mind, babies’ implicit preference for their own vocalizations could be an important factor in their path to full language use.

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When you talk to your baby , use short words and simple phrases. Refer to yourself as “Mommy” (or “Daddy” as the case may be) and use your baby ’s name frequently, too. As babies get older, they listen for their name to recognize the beginning or end of a sentence.

Babies Would Rather Listen to Other Babies . In a March 2015 study in Developmental Science, researchers from McGill University and Université du Québec à Montréal found that babies seem to prefer listening to each other rather than to adults—which may be why baby talk is such a

  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images This is not the first study to suggest that infants’ own vocalizations may play an important role in language learning. Perception of consonants produced in their own babble may help infants filter the speech stream into something more manageable.

Studies have shown that infants prefer to listen to words that match the sounds produced in their babble. For example, an infant who produces many “bababa” sounds will prefer made-up words containing “b,” such as “bapeb,” “pabep” and “pobep”. This is similar to the “cocktail-party effect,” where even in a noisy room we can pick out words that are more relevant to us, such as our name or the town where we live.

  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images In the same way, infants’ attention is drawn to words that match the sounds they produce most often, helping them pick out words from the speech stream that they’re more likely to be able to produce. It’s no coincidence that infants’ very first words have babble-like qualities: “mummy,” “daddy,” “baby” and onomatopoeic words such as “baa baa” and “woof woof.”

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The natural stimulation your baby receives from everyday conversations and activities is more than enough to prepare her for the outside world. For example, parents may play music, read stories and talk to their babies , and/or practise yoga themselves.

The first glance or gaze of the babies who were sung to by their mothers lasted a full 26 seconds, more than double the first glance of the babies who were just talked to , which was 12 seconds. If you already have been singing to your baby , keep it up!

  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images The importance of infants’ perception of their own vocalizations is supported by research into babies who are deaf. Studies of deaf babies have shown that they do babble but they start babbling much later than hearing infants.

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Without feedback on their own babble production, deaf infants typically cease to babble after a few months. These studies have allowed us to piece together a more comprehensive picture of how human language emerges, taking into account the importance of infant vocalization long before they produce their first word.

  Babies would rather talk to other babies than listen to your baby talk © Catalyst Images Babies learn from the adult world around them, but they also learn from their own early vocalizations. These new findings suggest that this begins much earlier than we previously thought. Perhaps language production does not start with words or even babble, but with vocalizations that begin long before the first speech-like sounds are produced.

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