Now hear this
Do you sometimes feel like your six-month old is hanging on your every word, imploring you to continue the conversation? It’s not your imagination. Your baby is fascinated by every sound that leaves your mouth. You could be reading the Income Tax Act to her, for all she cares, as long as you keep the conversation going. She’s fascinated by the sound of your voice and the building blocks of language that roll off your tongue as you speak.
That’s the word from Christine Tsang, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario’s Huron University College. She has also discovered that babies as young as six to eight months of age are able to remember new sounds after just three minutes of exposure, a neat feat of auditory recall that older children and adults can’t pull off.
Given how fascinated babies are by people and how much time they spend studying faces, it’s hardly surprising that they are particularly tuned into language-based sounds.
And if your baby can’t be tuned into Channel You? She’ll settle for a lullaby or some other type of music instead. Babies are also fascinated and soothed by music—a baby fact that parents have known, and used to their advantage, since practically the beginning of time.
• Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting, including The Mother of All Pregnancy Books and The Mother of All Parenting Books. Visit her online at www.motherofallblogs.com.