There was an interesting article on NPR yesterday that talked about talking, and how important it is to do so with infants.
The gist of the article is that it’s important to speak to your baby (shocker), especially if they’re too young to know what you’re saying. Because they’re not simply hearing new words, they’re learning how conversation itself works.
First you speak, then I reply. Then you. Then me. Etc.
This is a thing that came naturally to me early on (it just makes sense), and so I’ve been doing it with Daphne since she was old enough to realize that I was making noises at her.
I’m pretty sure this is a rudimentary attempt at echolocation.
Although I’ve mostly just been copying the noises she’s made right back to her; I should probably start responding using real words.
Anyway, my wife and I both happen to agree with the doctors who espoused the theory, and Jen sees it in action every single day while teaching kids from (generally speaking), lower-income bracket families. Her students are often far behind their contemporaries when it comes to vocabulary, and this is likely due to having parents who haven’t spoken to them enough. (There’s also a section on how these parents speak to their kids, but that’s another topic entirely.)
Anyway, if you’re interested in learning more about it hit up ThirtyMillionwords.org and give it a read. It’s interesting stuff.