Does your child baby talk?
When children reach a certain age, parents no longer find baby talk cute. They believe that when a child is old enough, it’s time for him to start speaking as adults do, in full words and sentences.
New studies say, however, that baby talk is beneficial to a toddler and the way they develop their vocabulary and learn a language.
What can you read in this article?
- Does your child baby talk? Why is baby talk good
- How to encourage baby to talk
- When should baby talk
Why is baby talk good
Published in the Language Learning and Development journal, the study conducted by the researchers from the University of Edinburgh says that babies have an easier time learning new words when they’re repeated in syllables.
For example, saying “bye-bye” instead of goodbye and “night-night” instead of good night will make them assimilate the concept of language better.
The infants’ language learning behavior was tested in a series of visual and attention tests using pictures on a computer screen of two unfamiliar objects.
According to Science Daily, “The two objects were named with made-up words communicated to the infants by a recorded voice—one with two identical syllables, for example, “neenee,” and the other without repeated syllables, such as “bolay.
“The infants were then tested for their recognition of each made-up word. Recordings of their eye movements showed they looked more reliably at the object labeled with repeated syllables than the other object.”
Experts say that baby talk is a good place from which to start teaching language and vocabulary to children.
Does your child baby talk? | Photo by Mikhail Nilov
“This is the first evidence to show that infants have a repetition bias in learning new words,” said Mitsuhiko Ota, the study’s lead researcher.
“Other studies in relation to music, vision, and behavior have shown that babies tend to learn better with patterns and repetition,” said a Parent Herald story. “This research implies that the same is also true for learning words.”
Does this mean you should allow your child to baby talk when they’re five years old? Maybe not, but there’s no harm in teaching them proper language as soon as they can speak straight.
Infants pay more attention and respond more excitedly to baby talk than to ordinary adult speech. The exaggerated and high-pitched tone in which you speak lights up your child’s head.
Their brains develop physically at an 80 percent rate over their first three years. The connections in their brain that allow them to think, learn, and process information increase as well. In the first several years, synapses, or connections between neurons, form at a remarkable speed of 700 per second.
Speaking to your infant activates crucial synapses in the language-processing area of their brain. The stronger those mental connections get, the more words they hear. This procedure can help your child’s future language skills as well as their overall learning abilities.
By the age of two, babies who hear more baby talk know more vocabulary than their peers.
When should baby talk
Does your child baby talk? | Photo by Pixabay
Between one and three months
Your infant communicates with you through cooing, gurgling sounds, and, of course, sobbing. They are also paying attention to you, and they may smile, move their arms and legs, or coo when you speak to them in a certain way.
Between the ages of 4 and 7
They’ll start imitating what they hear. They’ll be experimenting with their own inflections and noises. In an attempt to communicate their feelings, they may even raise or drop their voice.
Around 8 to 12 months
They’ll start to recognize and say specific words (like “no”) (like “mama” or “dada”). By the time they’re a year old, they’ll be able to understand commands like “Wave bye-bye.”
Every child develops communication skills at his or her own pace. Don’t be alarmed if your baby isn’t talking as rapidly as you’d like. If you have any major concerns, consult your doctor.
When should I worry about my baby not walking?
Is baby biting me, normal? How to stop baby from biting while nursing
The hows of raising a super smart baby: Here are 12 tips you can try
When should baby talk end
Baby talk can very beneficial when a child has no idea what any words mean. However, Dr. Arthur Lavin, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, believes that when infants approach full-fledged language at around 15 months of age, the meaning of baby babble fades, allowing for a connection of love and emotions based on language use.
While experts agree that there is no “right moment” to stop talking to your child in baby speak, Dr. Harvey Karp feels it is vital to alter your child’s vocabulary as they get older, especially when emotions are high.
How to encourage baby to talk
Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels
NHS UK has compiled a timeline on how you can encourage your baby to talk according to their age.
From birth to six months
- Hold your baby close to you and talk to him or her while looking at him or her. Faces interest babies and they will observe and respond to you while you speak.
- Talk about what you’re doing as you feed, change, and bathe them.
- Sing to your baby to help them pick up on the rhythm of language.
- Replicate your baby’s sounds; this will teach your child the value of listening and taking turns in a discussion.
- Use a sing-song voice to keep your baby’s attention.
6 to 12 months
- Name and point to things you can both see. This will aid your child’s language acquisition, and with time, they will begin to copy you. For example, “Look, a dog.” As they grow older, add more descriptive words like, “Look, it’s a black fluffy dog.”
- Begin talking to your child about what you observe in books. You don’t need to read the words on the page; simply discuss what you observe.
- When you’re ready to sleep, utilize a dummy. Learning to speak while holding a dummy in your mouth is challenging. You should have completely stopped using dummies by the end of the year.
- Play games with your child like “round and round the grass” and “peek-a-boo,” which teach them important skills like taking turns, paying attention, and listening.
12 to 18 months
- If your child is trying to say something but making a mistake, correct them. If kids point to a cat and exclaim “Ca!” you should respond, “Yes, it’s a cat,” rather than admonish or chastise them for mispronouncing a term.
- Give your child choices, such as “Do you want a blue cup or pink cup?” to help them learn new words.
- Toys and books that make noise will help your child’s listening ability.
- Sing nursery rhymes and songs with your baby as he or she grows older, especially ones involving actions like “Row, row, row your boat,” and “Itsy bitsy spider.” Having your child repeat the actions will help them remember the words.
18 to 24 months
- For example, “Where are your shoes?” and “Let’s put your shoes on.” Your child’s ability to remember words is aided by repetition.
- At this age, your child will understand simple orders like “Get your coat” or “Shut the door.” If you keep your directions brief and simple, your youngster will have an easier time understanding them.
- “Where’s your…”, ask your child, and have them point to their ear, nose, foot, and so on.
- Limit daily TV time for children under the age of 24 months to no more than 30 minutes. It is more advantageous for children to play games and listen to stories when kids are learning to speak.
2 to 3 years
- As your child approaches two years old, he or she will begin to string together brief statements. Try to utilize phrases that are a few syllables longer while responding. Respond with “yes, we’re pulling your sock off” if they say “sock off.”
- When you say your child’s name at the start of a sentence, they will pay attention. If you ask a question, give them plenty of time to react.
- Show them a ball, a teddy bear, and a rattle, then say “toy.”
- Start making significant sounds (symbolic sounds), such as “whoops” or “uh-oh” when you drop something, or “meow” while showing them a cat picture.
- Because background noise makes it difficult for your child to focus on you, turn off the TV and radio.
- While you’re cleaning, talk to the kids; they enjoy helping. Talk about what you’re doing while doing things like shopping, cooking, and cleaning together.
Negative effects of baby talk
One of the main reasons parents use baby speak to interact with their children, according to studies, is to gain and hold their attention rather than to explicitly teach speech and language.
Using baby language in this way isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because capturing your child’s attention is necessary for learning to occur.
However, relying only on this method is ineffective, as parents typically use cutesy, meaningless words that do not contribute to children’s vocabulary and language development.
Making up words and giving objects bogus names (for example, sip-sip for a cup and the act of drinking) can hinder language development and slow your child’s learning.
This challenges your child to learn the accurate term (cup) as well as the nonsense term (sip-sip) and decide which is more appropriate to use.
According to a large body of evidence, passive listening – or even the number of words a child is exposed to – is not the most essential component. It’s the quality of the conversation that counts.
That is the game’s back-and-forth nature, which requires listening and responding. Hirsh-Pasek and her long-time colleague Roberta Golinkoff refer to it as a “conversational duet” because “you can’t sing it alone.”
Conversational encounters can have a demonstrable advantage on brain development, according to one study led by Rachel Romeo, a neuroscientist and speech-language pathologist at Boston Children’s Hospital.
The researchers taped discussions in people’s homes, keeping track of the amount of language they heard and the number of conversational turns. Children who had more dialogues in which they took turns performed better on language comprehension tests.
These children also showed increased white matter connections in two major language-related areas of the brain, which could speed up processing in these areas. According to Romeo, this demonstrates that conversational turns aid brain growth.
Additional information by Margaux Dolores