What is Babbling?
Babbling is essentially a prelinguistic (i.e., before the development of language) skill where babies experiment and play around with an array of sounds that don't really make up any recognizable words. You will likely hear combinations of repeating vowel and consonants (e.g., babababa, gugugu). These then develop into alternating vowel and consonant combinations (e.g., magibee, poydabu).
A recent study has found how parents respond to their infant's babbling can speed language development. The study was conducted by the University of Iowa and Indiana University. They found that when parents "consciously engage" with their babbling infants, they can boost language learning and vocalizations.
They watched the interactions between mothers and their infants during free play. They discovered an increase in advanced consonant-vowel combinations in babies whose mothers responded to what they were saying. The infants whose mothers did not try as much to understand them and directed their infant's attention to something else instead, did not show the same rate of growth.
So the next time you hear your little one babbling, don't hesitate to give a big smile and respond as if you understood exactly what was said.
Click here for the full article. Parents, listen next time your baby babbles by Sarah Agnew.