Baby Talk: The Importance of Conversation for Childhood Development

Are words required to create a conversation with a child?

Not even close, says Dr. Dana Suskind, Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago, Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, and Founder and Director of Thirty Million Words.

A presentation by Dr. Suskind is embedded in an effort by Envision Utah that focuses on “Talk to Your Baby,” which states: “When we talk, read, and sing to babies and toddlers, we help their brains grow so they can gain the knowledge and skills they’ll need in life—and we’ll be laying the foundation for the happy, productive communities we want in the future.”

We’ve previously written about the importance of talking with babies and children:

Indeed, as part of “Talk to Your Baby,” Envision Utah posts a video with Dr. Suskind that explains the importnance and role of conversation in childhood development and learning.

“The brain, unlike our other organs, is pretty underdeveloped when it comes out,” Dr. Suskind says. “And it’s absolutely dependent on what it encounters on its ride to full development. Babies aren’t born smart; they’re made smart.”

She continues: “When those words and interactions are flowing into a child’s brain, the brain is incredibly active, creating some 700-1000 new connections every second. And it creates a strong, robust neuro-circuitry, which is the foundation for all thinking and learning. But it’s those first three to five years of life that form the foundation for all of our learning.

Watch the video here: