Some days I find myself talking in that high-pitched voice sounding like I have a speech impediment as I talk to my youngest abc but then I have remind myself that she’s learning English–she’s not deaf. I chastise myself every time it happens and cringe whenever I hear others do it to her. But it’s natural. Whenever we see these cute, roly-poly little people we immediately lose all connection with sounding intelligent and adopt the intonations and sounds of what we think babies sound like when they babble at us.
Really. We all need to stop doing this to these children. They aren’t minions–though they sound like them. These are little people that are learning the art of speaking English–which is hard enough as it is. They don’t need to be confused by wordless gurgles that have no meaning when we have words that they need to be taught so they can effectively communicate with the world.
Baby-Talk Can Delay Speech Development
I remember when I had mini I did all the research into rearing her. Thinking back, the amount of research I did was actually absurd. I think I was over-compensating for me being a single mom and me not wanting her to be a statistic. I digress… Baby-talk that isn’t actual words doesn’t contribute to the speech development of babies. I know that it’s just so tempting to lose all the words that you worked so hard to learn when you see these cute bundles of joy, but don’t.
Change Your Tone
Have a legit conversation with your baby. When we are in active conversation, we tend to change the tone of our voices to signify questions, changes in feelings, etc. When we do this with babies, they learn the flow of the conversation. Add a bit of a sing-songy tone in there and have fun. Abc and I sit and literally have full out conversations that she participates in. Yes, she’s only 13 months and has an extremely limited vocabulary but she still shares her input and she, too, changes the tone of voice sounding surprised or asking me a question.
Beware Of What Happens When They Get Their Words
I love you Mommy!
This was the first sentence that my mini exclaimed as she started stringing her words together. Sweet, right? Well, here’s the thing: when you talk to them as you normally would, be prepared for them to talk to you that way too. On the one hand this is great. They learn to communicate their feelings, wants, needs, etc. and you get to succeed in this whole parenting thing. But then things get tricky when they are upset or they aren’t feeling as happy as we’d want them to be. They tend to talk like us then too, which can be problematic depending on your temper. Now I’m not a perfect parent AND I struggle with my temper so having my little “mirror” in front of me has taught me a lot about how I need to handle things.
With abc I think we’re a little more lenient with how we talk to her. I do a sing-songy voice sometimes but still use words. Now that I see the end result of what happens when we speak to them like adults I’m trying to find the balance to have a perfectly polite child who expresses herself with ease and grace HA!!!
Do you do baby-talk? Why? Why not?