As an educator and a mom, I want to give you some “baby talk” advice. Most parents talk “baby” to their babies, toddlers and sometimes children. You may even be one of those parents and I don’t want to offend you if you are, but I want to warn you. Stop the “baby talk!”
Babies and toddlers are actually at a very critical stage and “baby talk” actually hinders their development. When born babies they have a “clean slate,” meaning they have the ability to learn any language, which is typically whatever language their parent’s speak. For us that would be English. Studies also prove that toddlers have a better ability to learn multiple languages at a time because they are still learning their language. With having a clean slate, and the ability to learn, they are at a crucial age where it’s key to use real language.
Have you ever wondered why some kids talk faster or more than others? Sure, it may have to do with the fact that not every kid is the same, but a lot of it comes down to how their parents communicate with them. From day one, I have never “baby talked” to Michael. I’ve used real words. A bottle has always been called a bottle, not a baba. A cow has always been a cow, not a moo moo. The English language has thousands upon thousand of words and using words that they will never use in real language is a waste of time and slows down their development. For months or years they have always called cows moo moos and now when they’re three and in preschool they have to learn that they are actually cows. So instead of using “baby talk” to get your kids talking more, use real words. They are at a crucial development stage and can learn even faster when you actually use “adult words.”
Michael is not even two years old yet and has a wide vocabulary, he can repeat the alphabet, he knows over half his colors, numbers, animals, all in English mind you because I actually talk to him. I may talk in a “baby” voice sometimes but most of the time I talk to him like he is a person. I read to him and we identify objects in the books. We discuss colors, shapes and sizes. We point out objects in life and identify them. I strongly, strongly encourage you to use real English, “adult talk” with your kids. It will truly benefit them.