Don’t talk baby!

Babies and toddlers are like sponges, absorbing huge amounts of information from their environment. They are learning to sit, walk and talk and if this could be learned right from the get go, they won’t have to learn a new set of rules later on. Using baby talk is a typical example of teaching a baby/toddler to do something wrong. Let’s look at some guidelines:

  • Just because they don’t talk in full sentences, doesn’t mean they can’t understand sentences and are busy learning grammar and other language rules from you.
  • You don’t want to frustrate them by using difficult language they don’t understand, but you want to stimulate them by using sentences they can learn from.
  • Monkey see, monkey do: make sure you are a good role model. This means you shouldn’t mix your languages, you shouldn’t use any words you don’t want them to repeat and you should engage in conversations they will enjoy by using a lot of descriptive language.
  • We are tempted to use the diminutive form of words a lot when we talk to kids, which are unnecessary. Sometimes this confuses kids or gets them in the habit of talking like that too.
  • Babies don’t learn language from television, they only learn it from interaction with a person. Don’t replace your conversations with television time! Educational programmes are over rated and kids should much rather play or interact with someone.
  • If someone else is in the habit of using baby talk when talking to your child, ask them politely to rather use proper language. Sometimes people aren’t even aware that they are doing it.

Bottom line: Never use baby language. You will hinder your child’s language development if you do!

You might also want to read about the reasons why your child should walk barefoot