CONTROVERSIAL OPINION: "I really hate baby talk, yep, even to babies."

Life is full of many challenges, those things that really test you emotionally, mentally or physically, the things that change who you are as a person and how you view the world. This is definitely not one of those things but it sure tests every ounce of my patience and at times does make me envision things I am sure are morally wrong and against the law.

Baby talk, I really hate baby talk, yep, even to babies.

Luckily, it doesn’t seem to happen that much in my vicinity but when it does I feel my blood warming and before it begins to literally boil I ensure that I leave because I do not wish to be imprisoned for the remainder of my natural life.

I just really don’t understand when adults choose to speak to babies but more irritatingly, older children in baby talk. The combination of referring to the child in the third person, the tone of voice- that high-pitched sound, the simple vocabulary choice and the exaggeration of any syllable within a word that turns “baby” into “baaaaaaaaby” grate on me like fingernails down a blackboard.

To my absolute disappointment though it turns out that the “Mummy looooves yooouu” style of talk is actually positive for a baby, it makes language and speaking sound fun which means they actually pay more attention to that than just regular speaking *many frustrated expletives happening under my breath*. It also means that your baby will often respond more to this type of speak as well, which in turn increases the amount a baby is exposed to verbal communication and helps them learn it too.

I am glad something positive comes from the baby talk experience, but it turns out that speaking to them ‘normally’, you know like an actual person, is also important too *fist pump*. In fact, according to WebMD babies should hear how words sound in actual conversation AND as your baby grows, the way you communicate with them should change too.

Brace yourself: Reddit reveal the worst baby names and yep, they’re pretty bad.

Video by MMC

This brings me to my inspiration for this piece, the Grandma (who I will call Grandma X) who was speaking with her three-year-old granddaughter at a playground last week.

I’m sure Grandma X had the best intentions but her use of baby talk was a very clear example of why people like myself are driven insane by its use. Without any sought of exaggeration, this grandma proceeded to speak to her granddaughter using baby talk for every word she spoke to her for the two hours we were so luckily within ear shot. Every word uttered to this poor girl was in third person, the words were a combination of repeated high-pitched syllables for various objects such as “lol lols” rather than “lollies” despite the three-year-old responding to her in much more sophisticated language in return. Clearly this is the time for Grandma X to change the way she communicates.

Again, I am not trying to attack poor Grandma X because she probably has no idea that what she is doing isn’t actually helpful or that it is totally annoying. And it definitely isn’t just her. But in case Grandma X is, or any other Baby Talk culprits are reading, I’d like to share with you some information.

According to Dutch research speaking to children ‘normally’ i.e. no baby talk between the ages of three and six is actually really beneficial to children’s language acquisition. Learning these type of language skills is important because this is the style of language they will be exposed to when at kinder and school it is irrefutably going to assist them with their learning. It is also really beneficial in terms of pronunciation, if a child is only exposed to baby talk they are not going to be able to pronounce words correctly. Although “lol lols” might sound cuter than “lollies” it is not correct Grandma X.

Ensuring that conversations are age appropriate in regard to vocabulary, sentence structure and in the style of delivery is important the study found. So, while the baby talk and its delivery technique is helpful for a baby, moving on from this is important as your child grows. So please keep the “goo goo, gaa gaas” for the babies (and quietly) please.

What are your thoughts on ‘baby talk’? Do you think it’s kind of cute or unbearable? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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