baby talk photo - newBaby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers

Issue No. 33, February 2014

Are Messy Kids Fast Learners?

Do you constantly find yourself wiping food off the high chair, the table, the walls, the ceiling, and even the dog after a meal? A new study suggests that in making all that mess, young children are learning. Researchers from the University of Iowa studies how 16-month-olds learn the words for non-solid objects – things such as oatmeal or applesauce or milk – that infants generally take longer to learn, and found that those who messed with the substances the most learned the words for them more quickly.



15 Multicultural Books to Explore

Explore and celebrate the many experiences of our world by selecting books for very young children that feature different cultures, languages, and world views. Here’s one list to try.



Long Term Benefits of Early Art and Music

According to new Michigan State University research there are strong links from early childhood participation in arts and crafts activities to patents generated and businesses launched as adults.



Use of Motherese (or Fatherese) Key to Early Language Development

The more parents exaggerate vowels and raise the pitch of their voices (known as motherese), the more babies babble, new research shows. Common advice to new parents is that the more words babies hear the faster their vocabulary grows. The new findings show that what spurs early language development isn’t so much quantity of words as the style of speech and social context in which speech occurs.


Understanding and Responding to Children Who Bite

Biting is a typical behavior often seen in infants, toddlers, and 2-year olds. As children mature, gain self-control, and develop problem-solving skills, they usually outgrow this behavior. While not uncommon, biting can be an upsetting and potentially harmful behavior. This column offers information about the behavior and what to do when it occurs, along with additional resources for families and professionals.


A Year of Play

This resource from ZERO TO THREE offers playful ways to support learning and development for each month of the year. This is a great tool for reinforcing ways for young children to learn through play.


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