My house is utter chaos. My wife and I have a baby who’s 2 and a little girl who’s 4, and they both have a big brother who’s 9. It’s pandemonium, but we all take care of each other. All but the baby, I guess. But she’s the one who gets the best of everyone’s attention throughout the day, every day. As you can imagine, she has a LOT of words spoken to her.
Your family domicile may be a lot calmer than mine. Or just quieter. I shudder at the thought, but your situation may even be crazier than mine! The fact is that every family has a different set of circumstances that make them totally unique from each other. Those natural differences apply to how many words your child is exposed to. Got it? Now hold that thought.
Research over a 30-year span has proven that the more words heard at an early age mean more smarts at a later age. And they’re not talking about being smarter by 80. They’re talking 2. No kidding! (Early benefits include getting to those first words faster.) So if talking to your baby from the get-go is easy (once you get the hang of it), how do you know if you’re saying enough? Well, that’s where the Starling comes in. And a little something we call the Starling Start Number.
As you probably know by now, the Starling is the smart device that helps parents talk more to their babies. Talk to your baby, and the Starling lets you know how many words you’re feeding your baby every day. But, again, how do you know if you’re saying enough? Given those 30+ years of research, there’s been no set, standardized, universal benchmark of exactly how much you need to be saying to your baby. Why? Because my house is a complete mess and (hopefully) yours isn’t. It’s as simple as that. It would be impossible to benchmark words with all the variables at play.
Which brings us back to the Starling Start Number. The first time you use the Starling, it goes through a complicated cycle of calibration by getting used to the sounds of your everyday lifestyle – the places you take your child, the voices they hear, the environments they hang out in. During the whole process, the Starling is receiving audio waves and instantly filtering that data to find your words and count them. After three days, the Starling is ready to make you your child’s first (and best) teacher by giving you your very own personal baseline word count. This is your Starling Start Number, and it’s based on the average number of words your family spoke during those three acclimation days.
Does your number seem big? Small? Well, don’t stress about it because it really doesn’t matter either way. The Starling is designed to help you have MORE quality conversations with your child than you ALREADY DO. In other words, this is where you start, but it’s not where you’ll stay. Your Starling Start Number is also your very first daily word goal. So right away you’ll be able to start working (or “wording”) on beating your family’s baseline word count. Feel like a challenge? You can change your daily word count any time you want. Inch it up every day, every week, every month. Your biggest competition is you. Your biggest reward? A smart child.
Once you’re up and running, we’ll be sending you in-app activities and challenges every day, so you’ll never be short on words. Want to get a head start on keeping those conversations flowing? Explore our blog for smart activity ideas from the Starling Research Team.
We’re all different – different family structures, different parenting styles, different environments. The only thing all of us parents have in common? The desire to make our kids the best people they can possibly be. Have fun with your Starling, and if you have any questions just give us a call at 650-600-1231. We’re always here to help.