Baby Talk: Resources to support the people who work with infants and toddlers

Issue No. 15, August 2012


Benefits of Music

A study at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, suggests that even children as young as 1 year old can benefit from exposure to music. The study found that babies who participated in interactive music classes with their parents “smile more, communicate better and show earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music,” according to a university press release.

Language and Literacy Development

For children with dyslexia, the trouble begins even before they start reading and for reasons that don’t necessarily reflect other language skills. That’s according to a 2012 report published online in Current Biology, that for the first time reveals a causal connection between early problems with visual attention and a later diagnosis of dyslexia.


At an age when “ba-ba” and “da-da” may be their only utterances, infants nevertheless comprehend words for many common objects, according to a new study. In research focused on 6-to-9-month-old babies, University of Pennsylvania psychologists demonstrated that the infants learned the meanings of words for foods and body parts through their daily experience with language.


Physical Development

A study from the University of Montreal found a correlation between children’s early television watching habits and their later physical health characteristics. After studying more than 1,300 children longitudinally, researchers discovered a link between the amount of TV watched by 2- to 4-year-olds and increased waist size at age 10. They also saw a decrease in children’s athletic capabilities at this later age. On average, 2-year-old children participating in the study were watching TV more than 8 hours per week, despite recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that children at this age should not watch any TV. (study) (AAP recommendations)


Cognitive Development

Children who play with puzzles between ages 2 and 4 later develop better spatial skills, a study by University of Chicago researchers has found. Puzzle play was found to be a significant predictor of spatial skill after controlling for differences in parents’ income, education and the overall amount of parent language input.

Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed every other week. Each issue features one or more resources, the majority of which are available to download at no cost.  To join the listserv, send an emailwith no message to subscribe-babytalk@listserv.unc.eduTo suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at or (919) 966-6635.