Babies apparently would rather talk to other babies than their mothers.
A new study found that babies who are 5 months old would rather try to communicate with their peers than listen to baby talk from adults.
Researchers at the University of Quebec used a specialized speech synthesizer to test this theory. The device simulated human vocal sounds from a variety of ages and sizes. They then compared the babies' responses to the sounds of vowels from babies their own age and from adult females, which was meant to represent mothers.
The researchers measured a response as a baby turning her head and listening to the voice.
The researchers found babies listened to infant vowel sounds 40 percent longer than they listened to adult vowels, "showing a clear preference for vowels that closely matched the sounds they produce themselves," according to Quartz.
In fact, even a mother's best imitations of another baby weren't enough to hold an infant's attention. They heavily favored listening to a voice similar to their own, created by their small bodies.
"Access to infant speech, likely including a baby's own vocalizations, seems to have a broad and significant impact, influencing receptive, expressive and motivational aspects of speech development," said Linda Polka, a professor at McGill University.
The study, she said, will shed light on "how infants develop their understanding of spoken language — what they bring innately and what is shaped by their experience as listeners and as 'talkers-in-training.'"
According to Quartz, this isn't the first time research has suggested babies prefer babble sounds from other babies. Infants can understand those sounds more easily, which makes it a little less difficult to learn new words.
Babies are "drawn to words that match the sounds they produce most often, helping them pick out words from the speech stream that they're more likely to be able to produce," Quartz reported.