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Baby talk is also referred to as parentese or mother-ese and is usually developed with a cooing pattern which is different from normal adult speech. Studies have shown that infants actually prefer to listen to this type of speech rather than standard adult directed speech. This is not only important in creating an emotional bond between parents and the child but is also important in stimulating the language development centre in the brain of the child.
How Does One Speak In Parentese?
In order to understand Baby Talk and its importance in the language development of a child, first let’s understand what is ‘Parentese’. In this way of speaking, parents use well-formed, elongated consonants and vowel sounds. Also, we open our eyes wide with a smile on our face and over enunciate the words we are speaking. It’s often a sing-song and/or rhythmic tone in which words are stretched like we will say ‘heellooo baaabyy’ instead of ‘Hello Baby’. We also smile as often as we can when speaking with baby.
Talk about how your day has been with your baby or what you are currently doing. For example – If you are changing your baby’s nappy, you can explain how you are doing, what you are doing, what are the steps involved in changing the nappy or anything that you are doing along with your baby.
Parentese Is Different From Baby Talk
In baby talk the words are not clearly pronounced and sometimes they don’t make any sense at all, For example if someone wants to wish a baby good morning – they would say something like goocchy meow or something which is very strange and in no way is related to the original good morning word. This way of communication does not help the baby in anyway.
Benefits of Speaking in Parentese
- Speaking in Parentese keeps your baby interested in what you are saying. The moment your baby is interested in what you are saying, she will feel more engaged and closer to you
- Parentese helps in the language development of your baby. When you are elongating the words which you are speaking including the sounds of vowels and consonants, your baby’s brain is mapping the sounds and words and forming connections
- It builds the neural connections in your baby’s brain which also enhances the memory retention of words. Each word and sound is registering in your baby’s mind
- Listen to your baby babbling or cooing and then respond accordingly. Motivate your baby to speak or respond to what you are saying.
- Sing songs and rhymes to your baby. Your baby’s ears are attuned to listening to melodious tunes. This will develop your baby’s interest in new vocabulary and teach them that learning can be fun as well
All babies are different and their learning ability and grasping power is different from each other. So while you are trying all of the above and may be some other things as well, give your baby his/her own time and space to develop.