The Village Baby


By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Does it take a village to raise a baby? A study indicates infants pay a lot of attention to other people than parents and caregivers, such as folks in neighborhood shops and playgrounds.

University of Chicago researcher Amanda Woodward tested this by watching 82 19-month-olds who had heard only English learn how to get a toy when someone speaking Spanish showed them.

Kids from neighborhoods with more languages were more likely to take cues from Spanish-speakers. Woodward says those babies seemed more comfortable with people not like those at home:

“Babies are tuned into the broader social world to a really precise degree. They are paying attention to people in their broader environment and actively picking up information from them.”

The study in the journal Cognition was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

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