A new study challenges the traditional view that babies learn to speak through hearing sounds alone. Learning to speak is a complex process. It’s not just an auditory process; it involves visual and auditory information. Lip-reading, along with hearing the sounds the mouth makes, helps babies learn to talk, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers from Florida Atlantic University discovered that beginning at 6 months old, babies move their gazes from your eyes to your mouth when you talk. This is roughly the same time of development when babies’ babbles become repetitive single syllables – like “ma-ma” or “da-da.”
To imitate you and the words you make, your baby looks at your lips to see what shape they make when you say a particular word.