“Baby talk” is crucial to an infant’s speech and language development. As parents you play “peek-a-boo” with your baby, you talk to him/her while you’re changing their diaper, you sing to him/her as you rock to sleep. When your baby happily coos, babbles, and gurgles, you make those sounds right along with him /her. It’s fun, but it’s also crucial to your baby’s development.
A young brain soaks up the sounds, tones, and language which will be used to say first words. Parents and carers play a big role. Children who have parents and carers who talk to them often, tend to form stronger language and conversational skills than those who don’t.
Is it bad to talk baby talk to babies?
The best way to speak to your infant may be what comes most naturally: that “sing-song way” many of us speak to infants — “How are youuu?!” “You want the baaaall?” It’s baby talk, and it can fuel their language development. Infants tend to pay more attention and respond more eagerly to “baby talk” than to normal adult conversation. The playfully exaggerated and high-pitched tone your voice takes, lights up your child’s mind.
For your child to get the most benefits:
- Talk with him/her often; Talkative parents tend to have talkative children.
- Get some alone time with your child. Baby talk is most beneficial when it’s one-on-one between parent and child, with no other adults or children around.
- When your baby tries to talk back to you, don’t interrupt or look away. He/she needs to know you care and that you are listening.
- Look your child in the eyes, he/she will respond better to speech when looking right back at you.
- Limit how much TV time is allowed to see and hear. Too much can setback language development. Besides, you’re more fun than the voice on the screen, right?
- Throw in some grown-up speak too. Your baby needs to hear how words sound in everyday conversation.