A new study about the interaction between parents and infants, and how it affects the baby later on, was published on Monday in the Pediatrics journal. One of the facts revealed in the study is that mothers talk more to infant daughters. It’s known that infants pay more attention and are more exposed to the mother speaking to them, especially in the first year of their life. This explains why the child often pays more attention to the mothers than to other members of the family in which the baby was born.
One of the authors of the study, Dr. Betty Vohr said that:
“Infants respond to both parents in the first months, with a greater response to moms.”
When it comes to the listening patterns of the parents, it seems that fathers pay more attention to the sounds their boys make, while the mothers talk more to infant daughters.
Although the reasons why this happens are still unknown, Dr. Vohr said that the study is very important and it can help in the future research into the important period of babies when they begin to develop the language. The co-author of the study added that:
“Early language exposure is critical for language development. Both parents and, in fact, all adults should be made aware of the importance.”
Dr. Vohr said that previous research showed that children develop a better language skill if they are exposed to adult speech in their home starting with the age of 2 months. She said that there isn’t much information about the environment of the babies in their first days of life until they reach 7 months. Also, there are very few studies concerning the importance of the parents’ speech in the development of the child’s language skills.
The new study showing that mothers talk more to infant daughters involved 33 babies and the parents. The babies had vests which recorded up to 16 hours of audio. The babies had the vests on when they were born, at 1 month old and at 7 months old.
The study analyzed the babies’ reaction to female and male voices and it was revealed that babies are more responsive to the mothers.