An infant looks at his mother and babbles and the mother responds by smiling or touching the infant.  What is happening in this situation?  This parent is promoting language development in early childhood!  Research suggests that the baby will learn to make advanced sounds more quickly when a mother responds positively by interacting with or smiling at their baby, compared to when a mother is unresponsive.  Researchers studied parent-baby interactions over a 6-month time frame and discovered that when mothers were responsive and reacted to their baby’s cooing and babbling, this had a positive impact on future infant language development.  This lets us know that parents play an important role in their infant’s ability to communicate and learn.  So when you hear your baby babble and coo, make eye contact with her, smile at her, touch her and talk back to her!  When you are carrying out daily tasks, such as folding the clothes, talk to your baby about what you’re doing.  For example, “Look sweetie, this is a blue shirt.  Mommy is folding the blue shirt.  It’s blue like the sky.  Can you say blue?”  Your baby will enjoy the interaction, and all the while you’ll be promoting language development!

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 10.34.39 PM

photo by Marin @