Baby talk: what has a negative impact on a baby's development?
The characteristics mentioned for baby talk and that are naturally used allow adapting to the baby when he is small. As he grows up, he needs language examples that are more refined to develop his sounds, his vocabulary and his sentences. To support the development of his vocabulary, we must speak as normally as possible to our child from birth if we want to make it a habit. It is better to say “look at the train” than “look at the tchoo-tchoo” Chopping words and making words up based on the sound that they make is useless for a child.
Following your baby’s evolution
As mentioned before, in our first exchanges with our baby, we instinctively feel the need to transform the way we speak to him and it helps him. When he begins to produce words, he cannot produce every sound nor say every syllable. He does what we perceive as mistakes.
For example, instead of giraffe, he can say “yaya”. As an adult, it is tempting to say yaya too and speak like him to make him understand more easily but that is when we should be careful. How will he be able to know the real word, use it, remember it and learn it? And how will he be understood by other people who do not know what yaya means? Our role is to show him the right way. In that sense, it is much better to repeat the word properly more than once in the same sentence. For example, you could say “This is a nice giraffe, you can place your giraffe in the drawer and we will grab the giraffe again later on.” Repeating will help him memorize and eventually pronounce the word like you.
For tips and information or to find more ways to communicate with your child, consult The Hanen Centre.