If you’ve ever stared into your baby’s eyes and wondered exactly what your little one might be thinking, you’re probably not alone. But did you know your baby might actually be trying to answer you? According to new research, sharing a gaze with your tiny tot can help him or her try to communicate.
A recent study conducted at the University of Cambridge found that when mothers and babies made extended eye contact, their brain waves synced up. Researchers examining the brain patterns of 36 infants found that, not only were infants brainwaves more in sync with their mother’s when their eyes met, but the babies also made more vocalizations when they were synchronized. When the moms and babies’ brain waves were in sync, the babies were attempting to communicate.
Dr Victoria Leong, lead author on the study said, “When the adult and infant are looking at each other, they are signaling their availability and intention to communicate with each other. We found that both adult and infant brains respond to a gaze signal by becoming more in sync with their partner. This mechanism could prepare parents and babies to communicate, by synchronizing when to speak and when to listen, which would also make learning more effective.” In other words, all that time you spend taking in that adorable face is totally worth it.
Do you feel like your baby is trying to tell you something when you gaze at each other? Share your thoughts in the comments below.