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My friends have a 18m ds. They use silly names or shortened names for EVERYTHING. For example, instead of saying "Do you want graham crackers or banana for snack, Danny?" they will say "Does Dan-dan want gammies or nanners for yum-yum?" Really.

These aren't even Danny's words for things-- at this point he has about a 6 word vocabulary!

I think the baby talk is odd, but probably not harmful. A mutual friend disagrees-- she thinks the baby talk is stunting his development. What do you think?
 

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Research I read in college indicated that parent's reflecting baby talk back to the baby helped the development of speech, and that only speaking to the child on your own terms (using only adult words and phrases) hindered speech development. It was important to do both; speaking to the child on the child's terms, as well as modeling more proper speech.

The effects were mild, though. Either way, the child WILL learn to speak.
 

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Wow...that's an interesting question!

The use of "baby talk" or "child-directed speech" is generally thought to aid in langauge development since the tones and inflection catch and maintain the child's interest. But I would think that at a certain point the role of the adult in the conversation is to demonstrate/model the "proper" words and structure of the language being learned (in a child friendly way, of course!).

So the "child centered speech" catches the little one's attention and draws them into a conversation (where they learn the patterns of the language, the cadence, the conversational starts and stops, etc) but then they also have their parent modeling the "standard" language (with clear pronounciation, proper grammar, using short phrases to enhance learnability, the addition of descriptors to a child's own word use...things many parent's do instinctively).

So I don't think using "baby talk" is going to "stunt" a toddler, but at 18mo it may be time for the parents to start modeling appropriate words/sentence structures more actively so that the little one has an easier time learning how to communicate with people who don't know his parent's "code". He'll "unlearn" that code once exposed to a peer group that doesn't know what a "yum yum gammie" is, but it may be easier for him in the long run if he knows the word "cracker" from the start.


There are some interesting articles about "child centered speech" and general language acquisition in children at http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/...elopment.shtml if you or your friend want to read more!
 

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I have read that "baby talk" like cooing and exaggerating sounds in a higher pitch to a baby actually helps because it draws the sounds out for them. Like "Hiiiiiiii baaaaaabyyyyy!" I'm not sure about replacing words like "ba-ba" and the like, although we don't do it. I'm pretty sure the kid will learn to talk either way because they'll hear the adults use the "proper" words in conversations with each other. With our DS, though, we use the proper words for things, and if he points at a banana and says "Nana!" I say "Yes, that's a banana! Do you want a banana?" I'm not sure if it's better, it's just what we've naturally done with him.
 

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I think by the time a child is over 1yr. old, it time to stop talking baby talk, I mean you know use simple words for the child to understand. "Do baby want wa-wa" and it even funny when parents ask, "do baby want some H2O" like the child know science. Just plain and simple do you want some to drink or juice.
 

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Everything I have ever read and heard before says it's not a good thing to do at all, at any age. The child is only learning to communicate with mom and dad who are aware of the "special" language they have created. How does this help them to communicate with others?
 

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I personally prohibited baby talk around my son .. and still do.. there is nothing wrong with his vocabulary and i feel that stressing the correct pronounciation with make him continue to strive to get it right.
 

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Hi All, I am a speech language pathologist. I think some people are confusing "baby talk" with "motherese". Now I would have to go back to all my books to give you the official definitions of these, but I am too tired--so here's the gist of it: Motherese refers to the intonation, inflection, cadence, etc... most people (mamas and papas) naturally use to get the childs attention and keep her/him interested. This is wonderful stuff (helps with bonding and development). Baby talk generally refers to pronouncing words incorrectly in a high pitched manner etc... (high pitched is good, it's the pronouncing words incorrectly that isn't helpful).

A PP said she (I am not sure how the "quote" function works at the moment, so bare with me--I am going to paraphrase). Modeled good speech for her child when s/he asked for a "nana" by saying back to the child, "You would like a banana?" Gold star for you
! That is the perfect way to help a child with developing speech!

As for hindering the child in question's speech. Well, I can say this: it is not helpful to mispronounce things. There is a whole slew of things they can do to help developing speech from modeling, molding, expanding and the like. I think for a typically developing child, for a parent to slip in the occasional "nana" or what have you will not ultimately "harm" the child's language development. It is especially important to model age-appropriate correct language for a child who is not developing language normally (wide range of normal). Well, that's partially it in a tiny nutshell. What a great question to ask!
 

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This is an interesting question... I know that hearing baby-talk drives me NUTS and so I don't use it around DS... who knows if it would drive him bonkers too... plus, he's pretty good at copying my tone and some words... so I'd rather those words be the correct ones.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin926
With our DS, though, we use the proper words for things, and if he points at a banana and says "Nana!" I say "Yes, that's a banana! Do you want a banana?" I'm not sure if it's better, it's just what we've naturally done with him.
I think I may have figured the "quote" function out. Here's the one I was looking for! It is better Robin926! You're a natural!
 

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oh, this drives me bonkers. My friends son is a little over 2 and she still does this, he mispronounces the words so she just keeps doing that. Which to me just reinforces saying it wrong. I do as a previous poster said, Luke asks for wawa and I say oh, do you want water. I do that when he doesn't quite have the words either.
 

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I used to do a child care exchange with another mom... we both had daughters about 3 years old. The family would talk baby talk with the little girl, and she was very good at it, little lisp and all. DROVE ME CRAZY!

So I told her that when she was at my house, I would like her to use the big-people words for things. I wouldn't understand things she wanted, like "wawa" for water, until she said it right. Took about three days of this, and she totally understood. Around me, she quit the babytalk completely. But, since her parents used it (and thought it was cute), she kept it up for years at home.

My kids have never used it. That's not how we talk, and so why would we ever encourage it at any age?
 

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It seems to me that is making the kids have to learn everything twice. Like first they have to learn the baby talk word for it and then as they get older they're going to have to re-learn it all again to talk correctly.

I do what the pp does. Jake says he wants malk and I say, "ok I'll get you some milk." He did seem to take a little longer to talk but once he did he never stopped! (He even talks in his sleep!)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie
Research I read in college indicated that parent's reflecting baby talk back to the baby helped the development of speech, and that only speaking to the child on your own terms (using only adult words and phrases) hindered speech development. It was important to do both; speaking to the child on the child's terms, as well as modeling more proper speech.

The effects were mild, though. Either way, the child WILL learn to speak.
This is admittedly anecdotal (n=1), but with my dd, we NEVER talked to her in baby talk. She was both a precocious talker and precocious reader, and I believe that both were the result of our choice not to talk to her like she was an idiot. Sorry, but that's how people talking baby talk sound to me -- very condescending, very patronizing. I realize they don't mean to sound that way and that not everyone will agree.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
This is admittedly anecdotal (n=1), but with my dd, we NEVER talked to her in baby talk. She was both a precocious talker and precocious reader, and I believe that both were the result of our choice not to talk to her like she was an idiot. Sorry, but that's how people talking baby talk sound to me -- very condescending, very patronizing. I realize they don't mean to sound that way and that not everyone will agree.
Not only did I refrain from using pretend words, but around both of my children (also precocious speakers) I make the conscious effort to use synonyms whenever I can. So my 2.5 year old occasionally asks for a drink when she's thirsty, but she sometimes requests a beverage. She will ask me to make her music louder, or to please increase the volume. It is wonderful to have a conversation with her because I just never know what I'll hear! I do the same type of vocabulary building with my fourth grade students. They are all receptive! In my experience, the greater the assortment of words a child hears, the more varied his or her language will be, and the chid will also be armed with the power of comprehension- he/she will be able to understand the conversation of adults and even the more sophisticated meanings in text. Baby-talking with make-believe words and sticking to a limited vocabulary do not empower your child in these ways.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Isamama
Hi All, I am a speech language pathologist. I think some people are confusing "baby talk" with "motherese". Now I would have to go back to all my books to give you the official definitions of these, but I am too tired--so here's the gist of it: Motherese refers to the intonation, inflection, cadence, etc... most people (mamas and papas) naturally use to get the childs attention and keep her/him interested. This is wonderful stuff (helps with bonding and development). Baby talk generally refers to pronouncing words incorrectly in a high pitched manner etc... (high pitched is good, it's the pronouncing words incorrectly that isn't helpful).

A PP said she (I am not sure how the "quote" function works at the moment, so bare with me--I am going to paraphrase). Modeled good speech for her child when s/he asked for a "nana" by saying back to the child, "You would like a banana?" Gold star for you
! That is the perfect way to help a child with developing speech!

As for hindering the child in question's speech. Well, I can say this: it is not helpful to mispronounce things. There is a whole slew of things they can do to help developing speech from modeling, molding, expanding and the like. I think for a typically developing child, for a parent to slip in the occasional "nana" or what have you will not ultimately "harm" the child's language development. It is especially important to model age-appropriate correct language for a child who is not developing language normally (wide range of normal). Well, that's partially it in a tiny nutshell. What a great question to ask!
What about when it goes beyond mere mispronunciation and right into using a completely different word to describe a common object or action, such as boo-boo for wound or binkie for pacifier? I'm not a speech pathologist (and I don't even play one on TV!), but it seems absurd to teach what amounts to two completely different dialects of English -- Standard English and Baby, and expect the baby to switch abruptly from one to the other. Just my unprofessional opinion.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by teachma
Not only did I refrain from using pretend words, but around both of my children (also precocious speakers) I make the conscious effort to use synonyms whenever I can. So my 2.5 year old occasionally asks for a drink when she's thirsty, but she sometimes requests a beverage. She will ask me to make her music louder, or to please increase the volume. It is wonderful to have a conversation with her because I just never know what I'll hear! I do the same type of vocabulary building with my fourth grade students. They are all receptive! In my experience, the greater the assortment of words a child hears, the more varied his or her language will be, and the chid will also be armed with the power of comprehension- he/she will be able to understand the conversation of adults and even the more sophisticated meanings in text. Baby-talking with make-believe words and sticking to a limited vocabulary do not empower your child in these ways.
Well, I hope this isn't getting too OT, but I remember vividly when I was a child of about 3 or 4 how absolutely annoying it was to be talked to in this way, and if I had had the word to express my feelings, I really would've turned to the adult in question and said, "Stop speaking to me in this condescending manner, please."
It's so patronizing, like the child has no brain at all -- if they don't understand ANY words, then what difference does it make if you use the actual correct ones? Geez, it's easier to say the one-syllable "wound" than the two-syllable "boo boo," it seems to me. Arrgh.

Also, when the child naturally picks up these words, and in good faith, trusting that you're not telling him a bunch of garbage, uses these words or these ungrammatical constructions (e.g., "Me hungwy for baba!") he sounds like an idiot, which makes people treat him like one -- it's a dreadful, vicious circle, IMHO. He's not an idiot, of course -- he's just imitating what he's been taught. How is that fair?
 
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