Close-up of a father playing with his son

Nurturing Your Baby’s Cortical Development


Not only do early experiences play a role in later language-processing ability, but also in cognitive aspects of development, including “seeking, noticing, and incorporating new and more complex experiences, as well as schemas for categorizing and thinking about experiences (pg. 9).” 1


Cortical development during infancy is influenced by central nervous system activity that results from experience, or nurture.  Before the onset of spoken language, adults nurture via one-to-one interactions with the baby that dictate his/her “experience” of the world.  Once spoken language emerges, babies have more control over such experiences; however, that control is very much influenced by earlier experiences. 1


Therefore, by introducing communication during infancy, you are not only promoting child-directed speech and language by adults in your baby’s environment, but you are also giving your baby some degree of control over his/her experience of the world.

There is no better time than now to give your baby the gift of communication!  CLICK HERE to find out how!


It should be noted that communication is most certainly at the core of child development overall, including:

  • Cognitive,
  • Social,
  • Emotional and
  • Behavioral growth.2


So, how does baby signing support overall development?

  • It reduces frustration resulting in a closer parent/child bond.3
  • Introducing baby sign advances later verbal development.4
  • Baby sign language has even been shown to result in a 12 IQ point advantage in an NIH follow-up study of one hundred 8 year-old children who had been taught to sign as babies.5
  • Learning to pair a symbolic gesture, or sign, with a referent, or item that the sign refers to, facilitates later vocabulary acquisition.
  • Using “home signs” or “improvised signs” created by your baby incites creativity.

For more information, please refer to:

1. Hart, B. & Risley, T.R. (2003). The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3. American Educator, Spring 2003, 4-9. Retrieved from
2. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
3. Claire D. Vallotton, Catherine C. Ayoub (August 2010). Symbols Build Communication and Thought: The Role of Gestures and Words in the Development of Engagement Skills and Social-Emotional Concepts During Toddlerhood, Social Development 19:3, 601-626.
4. Susan W. Goodwyn, Linda P. Acredolo and Catherine A. Brown (2000). Impact of Symbolic Gesturing on Early Language Development, Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 24, 81-103.
5. Linda P. Acredolo, and Susan W. Goodwyn, The Longterm Impact of Symbolic Gesturing During Infancy on IQ at Age 8, International Conference on Infant Studies (July 18, 2000: Brighton, UK)
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