Baby talk and language building

“Hellooo Baby!  Mommy loves you soooooo much.”

“One, two, three, UP!”

“UH, OH!  You fell down.”

…simple conversations often heard between parents and very young children. Parents have been worried for generations whether this “baby talk” helps or hurts their child’s language skills. Well, mom and dad, good news! Research now tells us that this type of speech, now referred to as “parentese,” actually helps our babies tune into and learn language more effectively. Our wonderful interactions with our babies as we describe the world to them helps build their understanding and use of language.

Take a few minutes to listen to researcher Dr. Patricia Kuhl, of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington talk about parentese. Then pat yourself on the back, as you have been instinctively doing this all along. So when your friends without children say silly things like “I will never use baby talk with my child,” just smile. Your parentese, which comes so naturally, is building your baby’s brain!

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