Your baby can tell if you’re smiling while talking to them (even when they can’t see you)
You probably can’t help yourself from doing it anyway, but experts say you should SMILE when you TALK to your baby.
New research suggests that your baby can pick up your facial movements when you are speaking to them. Even when they can’t see you!
Find out more below…
Why smiling while you talk to your little one is so important
Researcher Dr. Titia Benders, Lecturer in Linguistics and Deputy-Director at the Child Language Lab at Macquarie University, found that babies preferred listening to people speak when they are smiling rather then when they are frowning.
She found that those who speak while smiling make a higher tone than those who speak while frowning.
“Adults may think you have to speak in a high-pitched voice to attract babies’ attention,” says Dr. Benders.
“These findings suggest parents can mix it up if they’re trying to get their child’s attention – namely by smiling when they speak.”
Other research suggests talking to your baby in a loving and warm voice as well as using eye contact and touch are great ways to connect with your baby.
The benefits of baby talk
Researchers at the MARCS Institute for Brain Behaviour and Development at the University of Western Sydney have discovered that there is a relationship between baby talk and language development.
After examining 72 children at MARCS BabyLab, experts found that kids at certain ages respond better to different vocal tones, and they concluded that baby talk is actually helping your little one develop their linguistic skills!
“Mums are intuitively shortening their vocal tract which creates a higher pitch when producing sound,” says Dr. Marina Kalashnikova, who led study.“This coincidently also results in clearer speech that helps with language learning.”
Experts explain that the sounds we talk to our children in – help them learn language. And high pitches voices appear to be clearer to babies.
How did baby talk evolve?
This technique has evolved from primates, who use similar high-pitched sounds to provide comfort and appear less threatening to their offspring.
“What we showed is that parents do not specifically make speech movements to make their speech clearer,” Dr. Kalashnikova continues.
“Mothers are not attempting to use baby talk, but as soon as we’re in front of a baby we do it anyway.”Interesting stuff!
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