Babbling is an important marker of speech and language development in a baby. It usually begins when the baby is between 4–6 months old. Babbling helps in developing those muscles that will be required to produce clear speech later in life. The more time babies spend babbling, the more their language skill develops. Therefore, it is important to encourage babbling in babies.
If you listen closely, you will find that that the babbling pattern of babies mimics the speech pattern of adults around them. The reason for this is that the babies try to learn their native language through imitation. Therefore, parents should talk a lot to their babies and around them as well. Read them a bedtime story or sing to them, but ensure that you have their attention. From the the ‘coos’ and the ‘goos’ in the initial months to the ‘da-da,’ ‘ma-ma,’ in the consecutive months, babies grasp sounds very quickly. According to an article by Jenny Hope in the dailymail.co.uk, ‘Researchers discovered that infants whose mothers responded to what they thought their babies were saying showed an increase in more complex sounds, with consonant-vowel vocalisations’. A study by American researchers has shown that exposing infants to clear vocal sounds helps them differentiate language from noises.
As a parent, you must react positively to their baby’s babble, as it will let the baby know that babbling is a good thing and should be repeated more often. As you speak with your baby throughout the day, try to change your tone as well. Changes in tone grabs the baby’s attention and makes him more interested.
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