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

Issue No. 43, December 2014

Tips for Raising a Compassionate Infant or Toddler

Recent research shows that infants and toddlers are far more empathetic than we once thought. While they have short fuses, and don’t cope well with sharing, they are capable of being compassionate. With this in mind, this column offers ten tips for supporting pro-social behaviors in infants and toddlers that apply in home and program settings.


Study Shows Benefits of Building Baby’s Language Skills Early

Training infants to identify sounds linked with language before they’re old enough to speak hastens language-associated brain development, a new study suggests. Four-month-old babies were taught to pay attention to increasingly complex sound patterns and were rewarded when they detected a slight sound change. When they reached 7 months of age, these babies were faster and more accurate at detecting language-related sounds than those who hadn’t been exposed to the sound patterns at the earlier age, the investigators found.


Feedback Loop: Hearing Themselves Babble Helps Babies Learn to Talk

Hearing themselves make speech-like sounds such as cooing and babbling is crucial to infants’ speech and language development, a new study shows. The researchers also found that infants with major hearing loss who received cochlear implants to improve their hearing quickly reached the vocalization levels of infants with no hearing problems.


How Caregivers Respond to Babbling Also Makes a Difference

The way that family members and caregivers respond to an infant’s babbling can affect the baby’s language development, a new study suggests. Over six months, researchers observed the interactions between 12 mothers and their infants during free play. The infants were 8 months old at the start of the study. When parents listened and responded to a baby’s babbling, infants began to form complex sounds. The babies whose parents responded to babbling also started using language more quickly, according to the study.


Safe Infant Sleep Practices

Visit the Safe to Sleep® website to view or order FREE educational materials, read myths and facts about safe infant sleep, find tummy time tips, and discover other helpful resources related to reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Recently posted materials are available in English and Spanish.


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.