Parents learn, babies talk: How coaching moms and dads leads to better language skills among infants

Article Summary:

A new study from the University of Washington shows that coaching parents on how to talk with their babies positively affects child development. Using LENA technology, researchers provided parents with feedback on their child’s language environment and strategies for increasing interactive talk and “parentese,” a form of speech that’s slow and clear, with exaggerated vowels and intonation. Babies whose parents received coaching during the study were significantly more verbal by 14 months of age. Parents in the coaching group increased speech directed at their child and increased their use of parentese by 15 percent, compared to a seven percent increase in the control group.