Mother and Baby

Your Baby Understands Much More Than You Realise…

Babies have a better grasp of language than previously thought, understanding three times as many words as they can say, according to a new TV documentary

So your baby’s babbles may take a good bit of wishful thinking interpretation right now, but he understands much more than you realise.

Scientists on a new ITV documentary airing this evening have revealed that not only does your baby start picking up language from you from only a few months old, he can understand three times as many words as he can say.

In fact, all babies are born with the ability to recognise the 150 different sounds that make up every language in the world. Your baby also has impressive memory skills, meaning he can say a word back to you that you might have said weeks earlier.

Secret Life of Babies uses the example of twins Ella and Finn, whose parents are both profoundly deaf. This meant that from birth, their parents were using sound language to communicate, and the twins were able to start signing what they wanted from the age of six months, even though they couldn’t actually say it.

Interestingly, the twins’ ability to communicate in sign language has had no impact on their ability to pick up spoken words.

‘They have started going to nursery and are hearing sound and spoken language a lot more so now they use spoken and sign language at the same time,’ says their mum, Emma.

‘If they hear someone speaking, they respond using their spoken language,' adds their father, Toby. ‘If they see someone signing, they will respond in sign so they're using a mixture of both.’

The documentary also reveals that your baby laughs 300 times a day, and when he’s upset he won’t produce actual tears until he’s three months old.

For more fascinating facts, tune into Secret Life Of Babies on ITV1 at 9pm tonight.

What are you convinced your baby understands – even if she can’t tell you yet? Let us know below.


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