Skip to main content
Baby Corner logo
Login | Sign Up

New Study Shows Infants Learn Language Before Birth

Katlyn Joy |22, January 2013


A new study out of Pacific Lutheran University and published in Acta Paediatrica in December states that babies in utero pick up on the distinctive sounds of their native tongue.

The study led by psychology professor Christine Moon demonstrates that infants at just one hour respond with heightened interest to the vowels of a language not spoken by the mother of the infant.

This changes the previously held belief that infants became aware of vowels and consonants of their own language around six months of age. Moon stated that the research builds on the thirty years of research revealing that babies learn while in utero from their mother's voice. Now we have insight that one thing being learned is specifically about the native language as spoken by the unborn child's mother.

For the study, Moon tested infants shortly after birth. The two locations of the research were Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden and Madigan Army Hospital in Tacoma, Washington.

Infants heard either Swedish or English vowels and could control how many times they heard the vowels by sucking on a pacifier which was connected to a computer.

What that should mean to expectant mothers and new mothers alike is that the advice to talk to your baby, before and after birth, whether you are reading children's books aloud, narrating your day or even reading a recipe aloud, is vital for your child's development and learning.

Related Articles

Babies Understand More Language Than We Think

Exercise Toys to Help Baby Learn to Walk

Can Babies Swim at Birth?

Heavier Birth Weight Equals Higher IQ

Speech Development in the First Year


Be the first to add your comment, or ask a question.

Add Comment

You are commenting as .

Baby Photo Contest - WIN!
Enter your baby into Baby Corner's free baby photo contest for a chance to win prizes!

Vote Today
Upload & Manage Your Photos

August 2019 Baby Photo Contest Winner
August 2019 Baby Photo Contest Winner
Congratulations Mishapauli14!!

Your Baby Month by Month
Learn what to expect during your baby's first years with our month by month baby calendar. Choose your baby's age below to see how your baby is developing.

1 Week
2 Weeks
3 Weeks
4 Weeks
2 Months
3 Months
4 Months
5 Months
6 Months
7 Months
8 Months
9 Months
10 Months
11 Months
12 Months
13 Months
14 Months
15 Months
16 Months
17 Months
18 Months
19 Months
20 Months
21 Months
22 Months
23 Months
24 Months

New Today at Baby Corner