We all know that the human brain is pretty remarkable. But do you know what’s even more remarkable? The brains of our babies.

To be even more specific, we’re talking about the sounds babies make as their brains develop. For many, those cute noises and bits of baby babble may seem like nonsense, just sounds. But if you start to listen a little more attentively, you’ll catch onto patterns that are a little more familiar; conversations.

Image: Two babies talking and smiling at camera

Image: Pixabay

Baby babble isn’t just cute nonsense. These sounds and their progression as children age can help us interact with kids in ways that help them learn more, grow more, and feel more engaged!

To get us started on the subject, we have a great video piece from the NPR podcast, Hidden Brain!

Via: NPR 1

So, now we know what to do when kids are proudly babbling at us!  Just because we’re the ones that can speak clearly doesn’t mean we should control the conversation. Watch more closely for what they are looking at and how they are trying to engage!

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But what do we do when toddlers and young children use other, sometimes less cute forms of communication, like tantrums?

How do we decipher what babies and toddlers want, need, or are asking for when they babble at us?

The brains of babies and toddlers are far more complex than we may think. Very often the best way to observe what’s happening in these complex little brains is to watch and listen to what they have to say. So, to help us dive deeper into the fascinating world of children’s brains and baby babble, we turn to the longer companion podcast to today’s video, an episode of Hidden Brain called Baby Talk: Decoding the Secret Language of Babies.

Have you discovered the Hidden Brain podcast yet? Dive in anywhere with a title that catches your eye and we promise a wonderful “rabbit hole” experience.

Hidden brain is about all of us; how we are connected and perhaps why we clash.

And somehow, I feel some peace-of-mind about that clashing part after I’ve let the marvelous host, Shankar Vedantam, take me on a journey I would never have gone on without him.

So even if you’re not a “baby person” there’s a lot of interesting stuff in here to help you out when you are handed a toddler, and to give you a greater appreciation for those little minds. Here’s a great Hidden Brain episode to start with:

Like any good conversation, the communication between adults and babies is a process of listening and response.

It’s a two way street of feedback and reaction. These little brains can teach us as much as we can teach them. And though it may be difficult to sit back and think through the neuroscience behind it all in the midst of a tantrum, even these most frustrating of moments are a part of the remarkable development of one of the planet’s most complex objects; our brains.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


Learn a little more about our world! 

There’s a lot happening out there that isn’t always obvious to us. To see just a few, check out this category…

Science on EWC

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  1. “Baby Talk | Let’s Talk | NPR.” YouTube. NPR, 31 May 2018. Web. 04 June 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPHDrhLwiF4>.
  2. Shah, Parth. “Hidden Brain.” Baby Talk, NPR, 14 May 2018, www.npr.org/2018/05/14/610796636/baby-talk-decoding-the-secret-language-of-babies.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV