Jan 11, Hear Gwen discuss baby signing on NPR radio

The Parenting Science News Feed The Parenting Science news feed alerts you to updates on the Parenting Science website and to new blog posts or articles written by Gwen Dewar about parenting and child development topics. If you’d like to subscribe to the Parenting Science news feed, RIGHT-click on the RSS button (the last black button listed under the heading "Follow Us" to the right of this text) and paste the URL into your RSS reader. Alternatively, if you have a social media account, you can follow this site by clicking on one of the Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest buttons. Don't see anything new? Click your browser's refresh button to check for recent updates. Jan 08, 2019 Can babies sign before they can speak? Can babies sign before they can speak? To date, studies have failed to find compelling evidence in favor of the idea. And there's reason for doubt: Research confirms that babies start practicing spoken language at an early age. Continue reading "Ca..
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Jan 8, Can babies sign before they can speak?

Can babies sign before they can speak? © 2019 GWEN DEWAR, PH.D., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED It's one of the most common assumptions that people make about baby sign language -- that babies can sign before they can speak. But is it true? The answer is: It might be true, but we don't know for sure, and skepticism is warranted. Studies confirm that babies start practicing spoken language at an early age. And currently there is no compelling evidence that true signing emerges before genuine speech. So let's take a closer look, starting with what we know about the development of language. 1. By the age of 6 months, many babies have begun repeating our speech sounds. They may also understand a variety of everyday words. Babies are born with a package of powerful mechanisms for learning to speak. It's a basic human trait, the hallmark of our species, and experiments show that babies begin learning about language while they are still in the womb. Infants can hear their mothe..
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Jan 1, How to start babies on solid food: An evidence-based guide

How to start babies on solid food: an evidence-based guide © 2019 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Introducing solid foods to your baby is a messy, amusing, and sometimes frustrating business. How do you start? The first thing to understand is the goal. You aren't trying to replace your baby's breast milk or formula intake with solid food. That's because solid foods don't provide the complete nutrition that young infants need. If young babies reduce their breast milk intake, and replace it with cereal or other baby foods, they are at risk for poor nutrition (Sen et al 2017). So when you introduce solids to your baby, you are entering a transitional period. Your baby will still rely on breast milk or formula for the bulk of his or her nutritional needs. But your baby will be learning about solid foods -- learning how to eat, and how to accept new flavors and textures. And this understanding can keep you from becoming overly frustrated. Your baby doesn&#03..
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