it's impossible to talk to your baby too much

From the minute my babies were born, they heard me constantly narrating every single thing that was happening -- sometimes people even make fun of me for it when they watch our family videos. (I talked even more back then than I do now, if you can imagine such a thing!)

But ha! research has now vindicated me and I can finally claim the last word. An article in the NY Times highlights research that suggests the more we talk to our babies (before age 3), the better:
 Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words. By age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family. And the disparity mattered: the greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school. TV talk not only didn’t help, it was detrimental.
This is pretty ground-breaking stuff. Talking more to children is something anyone can do with ultra-beneficial results. Even if all you do is narrate your own actions it's still helpful:  Ok, it's time for me to fold those towels!  Ooh, they are still warm from the dryer! I love how they smell so fresh and clean. This yellow one is so bright and cheerful. You don't need to say anything of great consequence -- just say more!

Read the entire article at:

For more information about Karen's parenting or interpersonal communication consultations by phone, visit

No comments: