According to Emory University psychology professor Laura L. Namy, the best approach to raising bilingual children is to start early, CNN reports. "The child should hear as much of both languages as possible from birth, ideally from two different speakers who consistently speak one of the languages to them," Namy said.
Pediatrician Dr. Gwendolyn Delaney agrees. "The earlier the better. Studies have shown that children exposed to more than one language have greater tissue density in the areas of the brain related to language, memory and attention. The effect is particularly strong when the additional language is introduced before age 5."
The benefits of bilingualism are a no-brainer to some parents. Some widely known advantages include cognitive benefits, the ability to communicate with a broader audience and being competitive in a global market as adults. However, for other parents it's not so cut and dried.