Has your baby begun to play with sounds? Singing dadadada or mamamama and other babbles is a favorite—and valuable—activity among many 5-month-olds.
Researchers find that babies of 5–12 months open their mouths wider on the right side when babbling. Because the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, this suggests that babbling is the first step toward language, because it engages the left side of the brain, where language is controlled.
More evidence that babbling is a way of practicing language comes from a study of hearing-abled babies of deaf parents. Babies whose parents used sign language were found to move their hands differently from babies whose parents used spoken language.
This indicates that babbling is an imitation of the language to which a baby is exposed. If that language is spoken with hands, then a baby will babble with his hands!
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