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Talking to babies makes them smarter, study says

The toddlers whose parents had more back-and-forth conversations with them scored higher on IQ and vocabulary tests. (Source: Jae C. Hong/AP) The toddlers whose parents had more back-and-forth conversations with them scored higher on IQ and vocabulary tests. (Source: Jae C. Hong/AP)

(RNN) – Chat it up if you’re the parent of a toddler. It will pay off down the road.

A study published this week in the “Journal of Pediatrics” says holding conversations with our babies will boost their IQs and improve their language skills.

The researchers recorded and analyzed the conversations between parents and their children, ages 18 months to 2 years old.

Researchers brought back the same kids for testing when they were 9-14.

The results were striking.

The toddlers whose parents had more back-and-forth conversations with them scored higher on IQ and vocabulary tests.

“These data support the hypothesis that early talk and interaction, particularly during the relatively narrow developmental window of 18 to 24 months of age, can be used to predict school-age language and cognitive outcomes,” the study said.

“With these findings, we underscore the need for effective early intervention programs that support parents in creating an optimal early language learning environment in the home.”

Bottom line, it may sound like babbling, but those early conversations help build brain power toddlers will use the rest of their lives.

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