Adult Talk Benefits Preemies

Updated at: Apr 23, 2014
Adult Talk Benefits Preemies

A new study suggests that exposing preemies to more adult language in the NICU can increase their language abilities at 18 months.

Ariba Khaliq
LatestWritten by: Ariba KhaliqPublished at: Feb 11, 2014

When it comes to facing challenges, premature babies have their life full of it. One challenge being the delay in language. A new study has brought a new ray of hope about this.

premature babiesIt says that exposing premature babies to more adult language in the neonatal intensive care unit can increase their language abilities at 18 months.

"Parents have the power to make a difference in their child's development and academic success. Just by enjoying your child -- singing, playing, telling stories -- while riding in the car or having dinner, sharing your day with them," said the study's senior author, Dr. Betty Vohr, a professor of pediatrics at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

Parents should spend this quality time with their baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). "The brain is a marvellous computer. It's enhanced the more it's stimulated," Vohr explained.

Mostly, people are quieter in NICU leaving only physicians and nurses to interact with the infants. Parents’ office hours are often limited. Some working parents choose to work while the baby is in NICU to save their leaves for the time when he/she will come home. This cuts the essential parent-child time that they can use to talk to their baby.

"We need to provide more information to families about the importance of talking to babies," said Vohr. The study was published online on Feb. 10 in Pediatrics.

Source: HealthDay Reporter


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