The Checkup: Go Ahead and Talk Your Baby’s Ear Off (It’s Good for Her!)

Why talking to your kid—even before she can talk back—is really, really important for her brain.

• The New York Times has a fascinating read on its opinion blog this week, all about how important talking to your baby is. It sounds simple enough, but as the piece points out, a lot of parents don’t do it nearly enough, and some experts think how much a parent talks to his child—and therefore, how many words the child is exposed to during her early years—directly impacts the kid’s intellect and success down the road. What’s more, differences in the number of words kids are exposed to at young ages could explain why kids of poor parents fall so far behind at school and hardly ever catch up to their wealthier peers. Check out these study results:

Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words. By age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family. And the disparity mattered: the greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school. TV talk not only didn’t help, it was detrimental.

Interesting, right? Read more here.

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• Oh, hey, if you don’t have any plans this weekend, I found a marathon you can run. In North Korea. Runner’s World has the skinny.

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