The study, 'Face to Face', identifies key messages which can be given to parents to encourage them to interact with their babies.
Part of the research targeted parents from lower income grades, non-professional households and those dependent on welfare. The sample included teen parents, single parents and estranged fathers.
Feedback suggests some parents do not recognise the importance of communication and may prioritise chores over baby contact time. Many were unaware of their baby's rapid brain development from birth and did not seek out information about how to develop communication.
However, the study's participants found that positive messages about their child's capacity for learning and development were helpful and parents are keen to act on practical advice.
Liz Attenborough, manager of Talk to Your Baby, says, 'It is clear that parents are hungry for information on what their babies can do from birth, and if given information about early communication they can incorporate it into their early life.'
'Face to Face' highlights the importance of giving parents practical advice in an appropriate way, which avoids creating anxiety. The research will contribute to the strategy for 2011's National Year of Speech, Language and Communication as well as future Talk to Your Baby work.
- Talk to Your Baby is a campaign run by the National Literacy Trust