Should you avoid using “Baby Talk” when speaking to your child?
I’ve come across a number of articles where people tell parents to avoid “Baby Talk”, and speak to their children in a more mature, grown up manner. Baby Talk is said to stunt a child’s development. Is this actually the case? Should moms be putting conscious effort into avoiding this?
The simple answer: No.
Baby Talk, or what is also known as “Motherese/ Parentese” is a universally observed modification to normal language that parents automatically make when speaking to young children. This includes:
using higher pitched voice
simplification of words
repetition of syllables, such as /banana/ becomes /nana/
the use of diminutives (doggie, kittie)
Research has found that “Motherese” is a natural response that mothers have when interacting with babies. Not only that, but their response changes based on the age of the child they’re interacting with! How incredible is it that it’s built into a parent to change their language in such a subtle way?!
The changes made when speaking to a very young child assists the child in learning the language forms, encourages him to participate in exchanges and ultimately helps the child to learn language!
So go ahead, let your gut lead you in this one: baby talk is good for your baby!