If you’ve ever wondered if talking to your baby in a slow, exaggerated way is doing any good, you will be happy to find that Academics at the University of Washington have found that cooing at your baby is key to their learning process.
 
Apparently it helps babies to distinguish clear vocal sounds from other noises, and this works even if they can’t see the person speaking.
 
Professor Patricia Kuhl said: “When infants hear it, their brains may find it easier to model the motor movements necessary to speak.

“Hearing us talk exercises the action areas of infants’ brains, going beyond what we thought happens when we talk to them. Infants’ brains are preparing them to act on the world by practising how to speak before they actually say a word.
 
“Finding activation in motor areas of the brain when infants are simply listening is significant, because it means the baby brain is engaged in trying to talk back right from the start and suggests that seven-month-olds’ brains are already trying to figure out how to make the right movements that will produce words.”
 
The study also found that at seven-months-old babies can differentiate voices from other sounds, and by 11 months they can distinguish their mother tongue from other languages.  So the next time you feel like a fool for speaking ‘mothernese’ to your baby, remember, you’re doing exactly what you should be. 
 

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