Building Better Baby Babbles


By Staff Reports

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

Babies’ babbles mean the baby is interested in something. And a researcher says parents can help their babies start on words sooner by showing the baby they’re involved in what the baby is babbling about.

At the University of Iowa, researcher Julie Gros-Louis saw signs of this from data on 12 mothers and their infants. Babies whose mothers looked like they were responding to what the babies were saying – for instance, by paying attention to the same toy – had more words and gestures at 15 months.

So Gros-Louis says:

“Responding to infants’ vocalizations as if they are talking, rather than just cooing back to them, helps the infants learn that the vocalizations serve a communicative function.”

The study in the journal Infancy 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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