Is babytalk bad for my baby?


Experts distinguish between "parentese" (high-pitched, stretching out the sounds in words) and "babytalk" (meaningless babble sounds). Childhood language specialists suggest that while goochie-goo style babytalk is unecessary, parentese plays an important role in infant development. Parentese is a universal practice across languages and cultures and cues the baby to pay attention. Babies are more interested in the high pitched noises and exaggerated facial expressions of parentese than in regular adult speech. This helps babies learn language and speech patterns. So, go ahead and speak parentese to your baby.

Candace Lindemann

Submit a question for our learning experts.