It seems almost unbelievable that a 10-week-old baby says “I love you,” but luckily, there’s video to prove it… and some science to back up why a baby that young would be able to say “I love you” at such a young age!
Research shows that a baby not only hears sounds while still in utero, but that the baby can also recognize them and actually retain memories of those words after being born. The parts of the brain that process sound become active during the last trimester of pregnancy, and sound is able to travel through the mother’s abdomen wall fairly well.
Cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen explains that it may be muffled, but it is easily understood.
“If you put your hand over your mouth and speak, that’s very similar to the situation the fetus is in. You can hear the rhythm of speech, rhythm of music, and so on.”
And as most mothers know, babies come into this world recognizing certain sounds — particularly voices. That, too, has been proven by science. Two women — one the expectant mother, the other not — read the same poem to a baby in utero. Both readings of the poem caused a change in heartbeat. When the poem was read by a stranger, the baby’s heart rate decelerated, which researchers say is “an attention mechanism,” meaning the baby was paying close attention because they did not recognize the voice. And the babies who heard their mothers’ voices had heart rates that accelerated.
Basically, a baby gets its first language lesson while still in the womb.
Language development for a baby actually happens really quickly as well. Children go from no words to what sometimes seems like all the words in a very short period of time. In fact, baby will learn language so quickly that some linguists actually believe that a baby is born with an innate sense of language, an already developed sense of syntax, and this is why they are able to learn so quickly.
Furthermore, science shows that a baby does more than just hear — they actually already comprehend speech patterns. A baby can recognize his or her own name at an astonishingly young age, and by 6 months, baby already knows the words “Mommy” and “Daddy” and who those people are.
All of this language development is aided by doting parents who happily put their faces in the face of their baby and, well, baby-talk. After all, that’s what helps baby learn language receptively – how baby learns to talk. Exaggerated, drawn-out, repeated syllables that baby will begin to mimic. And what are some of the most repeated syllables a baby probably hears?
The phrase, “I love you.”
But it’s not often you hear an infant say “I love you” back!
Check out the video below, and listen carefully. You can hear the baby — and remember, she is only 10-weeks-old! — start to attempt to say it from the beginning, and at the end, she finally says it.
Pretty amazing, huh?