We are an IRS approved tax exempt charity.


For Immediate Release

Denver Colorado: 6 November 2017

The Building Babies Brains Foundation Ltd

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Parentese: Essential for Ensuring US Economic Health AND Building Babies Brains.

Getting all Americans to speak Parentese with their newborns is critical for ensuring the supply of qualified workers that the United States must have if it is to compete in a global economy where our competitors’ workforces are increasingly well-educated and therefore more productive.

That’s the takeaway from the plenary presentation delivered at the LENA Foundation's 2017 Early Language Conference by Flávio Cunha, Professor of Economics at Rice University and the University of Pennsylvania's Population Studies Center.

According to Cunha,

1) The growth in US income inequality and the continuing declines in labor productivity are both the result of our education system’s failure to generate greater numbers of qualified college graduates, and

2) The solution lies in widely implementing early parent-infant interventions possessing demonstrated positive impacts on children’s language, cognition, and socio-emotional development.

Although the Professor didn’t explicitly mention it during his presentation, just such an intervention already exists, and it’s called “Parentese.”

Also known as “motherese,” “serve and return interaction,” “child directed speech,” and “baby talk,”  Parentese is a way of ‘speaking’ with infants that includes a higher vocal pitch, sing-song inflections, exaggerated facial expressions, and constant eye contact.

A prodigious body of neurocognitive research and analysis – from the Harvard Center on The Developing Child, the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Science, Princeton’s Baby Lab, and many others - has demonstrated that mothers’ interaction with their newborns exclusively in Parentese from birth though six months is essential for development of the neurological architecture in their infants' brains that is responsible for language - and that then acts as the foundation for all of their subsequent learning, their emotional stability, even their long-term physical well-being.

Most upper and middle class mothers instinctively break into Parentese with their infants from the moment of birth. Unfortunately, very few socioeconomically deprived mothers do the same.

That, according to its founder, Tom Benghauser, is why the Building Babies Brains Foundation is dedicated to achieving a single objective: ensuring that all new moms interact with their newborns as often as possible in Parentese – and Parentese only – throughout their first six months.

The 501(c)3 charity’s solution for achieving this objective? A month before their due dates it will gift target moms high-end smartphones equipped with its ParenteseNow app – a high-tech ‘on-the-job-training’ tool that will get new mothers actually interacting with their children in Parentese while simultaneously providing them with instant feedback on their job performance.

The ParenteseNow app will monitor moms’ environment 24/7s and, as soon as it detects that they’re not speaking proper Parentese despite being in a right-time/right-place context, will transmit gently corrective text messages and if necessary even trigger live voice calls from their Early Head Start/Home-Visit mentors.

It will also boost moms’ confidence and self-esteem by transmitting congratulatory text and/or voice messages whenever they are speaking Parentese often and well.

A randomized controlled trial of the ParenteseNow smartphone intervention is currently at an advanced stage of planning.



Tom Benghauser

720 726-7700