Aug 082016

A commentary, published in Jama Pediatrics, highlights the importance of talking to babies right from birth. This early interaction can nurture childrens developing brains, while contributing to language acquisition, early literacy, school readiness, and social and emotional well-being. As well as nourishing babies for their physical well-being and growth, parents should feed their developing brains by talking to infants from the outset, according to a recent paper from experts at Harvard Graduate School of Education and Boston Medical Center. According to the paper, not all parents think to engage in this kind of communication with their babies, bearing in mind that the quality of the conversation matters more for a childs development than the quantity of words. The authors also highlight that children growing up in low-income households have, on average, heard 30 million fewer words and have half the vocabulary of children with parents with higher incomes by the age of three. Children need to hear words to develop their language skills. So talking and reading to them can help. Worldwide, 13 million children go to bed without being read a story, continue the authors, who launched a literacy programme giving books to children at pediatric visits.

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