babytalk2Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers

Issue No. 39, August 2014

Having the Television On Can Hinder Language Development

Having the television on while you play with your toddler could hinder the child’s language development, according to a new study. Researchers observed interaction between 49 parents and their toddlers, aged 12, 24 and 36 months, as they played together for an hour. During half of that time, a TV program with content for older children and adults was on in the background. The number of words and phrases, including the number of new words, spoken by parents was lower when the TV was on than when it was off, the study found. Read more about this study at the link below.


Verbs Make a Difference in Language Acquisition

For toddlers, learning basic words and the beginnings of sentence structures starts a whole new world into language. A new study, published in the journal Language Learning and Development, examines how “packaging” certain verbs into sentences can play a key role in influencing a child’s vocabulary. Read more at the link below.     


Daily Reading to Young Children Supports Language Acquisition and Literacy

A new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that reading daily to young children, starting in infancy, can help with language acquisition and literacy skills. But, the report says, many children are missing out. All pediatricians should encourage parents to read out loud to their children every day, beginning in infancy, to promote literacy and strengthen family ties. (article) (policy statement)


Does Making a Mess Facilitate Learning Some Vocabulary?

Researchers at the University of Iowa studied how 16-month-old children learn words for nonsolid objects, from oatmeal to glue. Previous research has shown that toddlers learn more readily about solid objects because they can easily identify them due to their unchanging size and shape. But no one knew about how they learned the words for oozy, gooey, runny stuff until now. Click on the link below to learn more.


Free Parenting Resources

ZERO TO THREE offers downloadable resources on a wide variety of topics and organized by age (e.g., birth to four months), many of which are available in English and Spanish.


Make a Baby Sensory Book

Here are easy instructions for making a baby sensory book to read with a little one or to share.    

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.