The writer raised the alarm that parents and caregivers are spending more and more time with a phone or iPod to their ear instead of using that time to talk to baby.
In her book, "Bright From the Start" (which I recommend as one of the most fascinating baby books you'll pick up), Jill Stamm talks about the need for parents and caregivers to give their babies a lot of face-to-face time. You are the toy your child wants most.
I see it with my six-month-old. I push a little car his way and it keeps him occupied for maybe three minutes. But if I set him on my lap and begin to talk with exaggerated expression, opening my eyes wide, we could go on and on for 20 minutes. Babies are innately fascinated with faces. My son will stare at someone with a big grin until they make eye contact and smile back. A social genius, truly.
Growing up my mom always said, "I talked to you constantly as babies. It made you more verbal." (Which holds true. My siblings and I all enjoy a good chat.) When I had my first child, her only piece of advice was: "Hold him and talk to him and he will be smart. That's what I did with you kids."
Always trust your mother, especially when she holds a degree in child development.