Baby Loves Mom's Voice, But Learns Vocabulary From Dad's

mom, dad, and baby

It's really very interesting to think about what our babies pick up when we talk to them, right from the start. We learn what all their little cried mean and how to respond immediately and they learn to identify our voices from a crowd. We all learn and grow together. According to a new study, while babies love to listen to their mom's voice, they are actually learning vocabulary from their fathers.

We all know that even before babies leave the womb that they pick on different language cues. It's pretty impressive. Research has shown that they are also able to identify voices they hear during their last trimester in the womb and prefers the voice of their mom over a stranger’s voice. While that connection is established very early on, it's the one that babies form with their dads that actually help them develop the way they speak.

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A study done at the Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology at the University of Fudan in China recently showcased the different ways that babies pick up different things from each parent.

parents with baby
Credit: iStock / Liderina

Menghan Zhang, the lead author of this study, was able to identify two pretty incredible findings of babies speech development. Whenever they look to their mothers, they are picking up on sound and pronunciation cues, and they look to their fathers to actually build their vocabulary. The maternal genes of a child were directly linked to phonemic characteristics, while the paternal genes and lexical characteristics were related.

These findings definitely show just how big of a role that parents play in a new babies speech development and how crucial it is to spend time every single day working to further develop these skills. And it also further puts emphasis on the importance of both parents being involved in this process since babies are picking up different things from each.

Never underestimate the impact that you're making on your children every single day, even from the moment they are first born. So dads: it's time to download that dictionary app and to start incorporating new words. Before you know it you're little one will have a vocabulary better than you could have ever imagined!

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