Friday, July 5, 2013

FAQ Friday: Baby Talk

Hooray for Friday!  Hope you had a happy holiday yesterday and that some of you are enjoying a nice, long weekend.  Here's a new FAQ Friday post to get your weekend started!

Today's question is brought to you some of my friends who are new moms with cute little babies.  :)  They want to know if it's ok to speak "baby talk" to their kids.

Sometimes baby talk is referred to as "motherese" or "parentese," and this kind of talk is perfectly normal and actually pretty beneficial for your young kiddos.  These types of sentences are usually simple and short, with repeated words and elongated vowels.  When speaking, parents often use slow rates and higher pitches with happy facial expressions.  For example, "Do you see the car?  That's a big big car.  Cars go fast!  Vroom!"

Check out what this speech pathologist from The Hanen Center writes about baby talk:


However, you do want to make sure you are modeling grammatically correct speech and correct articulation.  Be careful not to drop off ends of words, like -ing or -s, to shorten the sentences.  It's important for kids to develop a good sense of grammar and word meanings.

As kids get older, some go through stages of developmental misarticulations.  Adults might think it's "cute" and may speak back to them using those same errors.  And sometimes what a child says IS funny AND cute!  It's ok to talk and laugh about it.  You just want to be sure and model correct articulation when speaking to them, as not to reinforce their errors.

What are your thoughts?  I'd love to hear your opinions!  :)

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