London - Parents may be used to their sullen teenagers switching off and ignoring them when they speak.
But even babies would rather listen to their friends than hear what their parents have to say.
A study has found that young infants prefer the sound of other babies to adult voices. Given the choice, they spend 40 percent longer listening to their peers.
Babies prefer the unique vocal properties of their own age group, which come from their tiny bodies. Researchers at McGill University in Canada used a synthesiser which can mimic the voice at any age to test the preferences of five-month-olds.
The findings were presented by Dr Linda Polka at the 175th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, in Minneapolis.
A key question answered in the research with older children was whether babies’ high voice pitch, which parents often try to match when speaking to their infants, is sufficient to grab their attention.
But it seems that pitch is not the only important factor and infants are more attuned to sounds produced by very small talkers like themselves.