WASHINGTON - The sooner you start explaining the world to your baby, the better.
New research shows that both how much and how well parents talk with babies and toddlers helps tune the youngsters' brains in ways that build vocabulary skills. It's a key to fighting the infamous word gap that puts poor children at a disadvantage for school at an even younger age than once thought.
Children who hear more words at an early age -- not from TV but from someone speaking directly to them -- fare better. And longer, complex sentences are fine. The idea is to prime the brain to learn new words through context.
The research is being presented Thursday and Friday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.