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Womb Talk: Babies Learn Their First Language

Pregnant Woman
Womb Talk: Babies Learn Their First Language
on November, 15 2013

When does a baby really begin to talk? Psychologists believe the stage varies, depending on the speech and mental development of the child. Some babies who begin babbling as early as one month old usually start articulating their first words before their first birthdays. Other babies progress at a slower rate and commence talking at a later age.

New study on infant development

Alas, perspectives change in time. Even scientific theories and applications vary and evolve in this ever-transforming world. Studies in developmental psychology have found out that babies actually learn their first language even when they are still inside the womb. According to a recent research, after a few hours of birth, a baby can already recognize its native language, which is normally that of the mother. The study shows that the cognitive development of a child is initiated even inside the womb where babies already start absorbing language from the immediate external surroundings. Based on this scientific claim, mothers are now encouraged to talk to their unborn babies to boost the infants’ maturation.

Sensory brain system

Scientists reveal that on the 30th gestational stage, the sensory brain mechanisms of babies are already developed. It is at this period when they start absorbing their mother’s talk especially on the last 10 weeks of pregnancy. Upon birth, a baby’s cognition is well developed as all of its five senses begin to adjust to its new surroundings. According to the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, the mother has a direct and very strong influence on the child’s brain development. This finding is attributed to the umbilical artery connection between the mother and the child. This special and internal link establishes a relationship that cannot be matched by other kinds of consanguineous bonds.

Babble talk

At their first sign of speech, babies start to babble talk. Although babble talks are actually gurgles and slurs uttered by infants in their early infancy stage, cultural studies indicate that this baby language is associated with a child’s parental native tongue. This explains why babies usually respond to people who talk to them in familiar languages. For instance, a French baby’s babbles may sound similar with a Chinese baby’s gurgle. However, they may respond differently to languages such that when you talk to a French baby in Chinese, you will probably not get a response. Scientists explain this phenomenon in terms of language familiarity. While inside the womb, the French baby may have already picked up the native tongue of the mother.

Mother’s influence

The influence of a mother to her baby is truly astounding. It is said to arise from the time the pulse of life starts beating in her womb. The child’s brain is entwined with that of the mother’s nervous system and emotional faculties. Based on this awareness, family development experts constantly encourage mothers to maintain calm disposition during pregnancy. They are also advised to avoid getting upset because their emotional state has a direct bearing on the child’s emotional make-up during the individual’s growth process.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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