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How do you talk to your baby? You may be doing it wrong.

Posted by on Jan. 8, 2014 at 10:24 AM
  • 6 Replies

You Could Be Talking to Your Baby All Wrong

by Nicole Fabian-Weber

mom talking to babyParents have long known that talking to their babies is beneficial. When a little one hears their parent's voice, it does a number of things: Makes them feel safe; gets them used to noise; and, perhaps most often studied, helps boost their language development. But this just in! You might be doing it wrong!

Okay, so there's no wrong way to talk to an infant, but according a new study, there's a specific setting and way in which moms and dads should communicate with their babies if they want them to master more words.

Like most things in life, it isn't about quantity, it's about quality.

Researchers at the University of Washington and University of Connecticut found that one-on-one talk with babies as well as baby-style talking is what spurs small children to babble more, which is a "forerunner of word production." While talking around babies in group settings certainly can't hurt, according to these findings, it's not the thing that's going to help baby learn language quickly. The study also found that speaking in a high-pitched voice with exaggerated vowels ("Hiiiiiii! How are youuuuuu?") helps infants with language development, as opposed to talking in your regular voice.

Similar studies in the past have typically focused on the amount of words babies hear without taking the social context into account. This study shows that word mastering goes beyond that. According to one of the authors, "What this study is adding is that how you talk to children matters. Parentese is much better at developing language than regular speech, and even better if it occurs in a one-on-one interaction."

So, you hear that, parents? Just because you and your partner are discussing what to have for dinner in front of your newborn doesn't mean he's going to be a wordsmith. You need to carve out time in your hectic day to sit down with him and have a heart-to-heart (in a high-pitched tone and drawn-out cadence!).

Or, you know, just do what you've already been doing all along :)

How do you talk to your baby?

by on Jan. 8, 2014 at 10:24 AM
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Replies (1-6):
mama2b100808
by Mandy on Jan. 8, 2014 at 10:34 AM

 Well we didn't do the baby talk to our daughter everyone else did but I think it was a lot easier for her to understand us. :)

JRSMOM0621
by on Jan. 8, 2014 at 10:51 AM

I talk to him like I talk to anyone else. I dont like that whole "baby talk" thing that most people do.

Mommy to one angel, 1 crazy toddler and 1 on the way!!
MamaBear2cubs
by Nikki on Jan. 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I always talked normal to my kids. Baby talk irritates me.

MamaPeanut
by on Jan. 8, 2014 at 9:12 PM
Same here

Quoting MamaBear2cubs:

I always talked normal to my kids. Baby talk irritates me.

Mandallyn
by on Jan. 8, 2014 at 10:26 PM

After working in a day care with a child who refused to talk without using babytalk I decided not to speak that way to my children.  

RheaF
by on Jan. 8, 2014 at 11:04 PM

 I never used baby talk when talking to my children.

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