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Study gives reason for babies’ common first words

Baby
A study from the University of Edinburgh suggests that babies find it easier to learn words with repetitive sounds, helping them build a base for vocabulary learning. (iStock photo)

Gigi Chawla, MD, senior medical director of primary care at Children’s Minnesota, shared her recommendation for exposing babies to a wide range of vocabulary and conversational dialogue from birth in a story on The Bump.

A study by the University of Edinburgh suggests babies have an easier time learning words that contain repetitive sounds such as “mama,” “dada” and “night-night.”

Dr. Chawla stressed the importance that parents shouldn’t speak exclusively in “baby talk” to kids.

“If you’re only speaking to your child in baby talk, you’d absolutely be doing a disservice to them,” Dr. Chawla told to The Bump. “We want them to experience the full breadth of language. Even if they don’t understand, they’ll start to pick up rhythm. The aspects of processing language are so critical during that first year of brain development.”

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More from Dr. Chawla on The Bump

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