Baby Talk-Cute or Annoying?

[deleted account] ( 32 moms have responded )

Pretty straight forward. I rarely ever used baby talk to my son. I find it annoying and far from cutesie wutsey. It makes me cringe when I hear moms baby talk to their toddler/preschooler, and even older school age kids. For infants, I suppose it's more appropriate. What about some of you?

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?? - posted on 09/06/2009

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I've read in a few psychology books that say baby talk is essential. Not the Over-the-top crap. But children now a days are being made to grow up too fast and it's leading to a lot of depression, pressure and over all undevelopment of necessary skills that children learn by interacting with adults using 'baby talk.'

I've also witnessed/experienced the side affects of 'no baby talk.' I listened to a panel of psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors tell my parents that they 'set the base' of my brothers suicidal teenage tendencies by not talking to him with baby talk, by telling him to 'talk like a grown up' or 'use your grown up voice'.

I think in my brothers case it was BS - because we all baby talked in our family. But having heard almost a dozen different professionals all say the same thing about baby talk - I won't be telling my son to 'use his grown up voice' and I will allow him to baby talk when it's appropriate.

There has to be a balance. Children are being told they have to know how to read and write by the time they're 2-3 now... or else they're stupid and/or slow. I think it's redonkulous how people are so steadfast and ready to make sure their babies grow up as fast as possible.......... and then turn around and bitch about how their babies aren't babies anymore.

I don't think it's appropriate for a child to be using baby talk - like 4/5+ years old. Sometimes it can be cute, but by then they will be going to school and need to be in the habit of talking properly - before then though there are at least 3 years where a child should be able to baby talk and us parents still be able to teach them to speak properly then the year-ish before school starts, that is when you should really start breaking down the baby talk and teaching your child that that is the time that speaking properly (not speaking in their grown up voice) will be more productive than speaking like a baby.

I would like to just emphasize that I think over the top baby talk is annoying but general baby talk is essential lol

[deleted account]

Quoting Lisa:

Baby talk is actually an instinctual and developmentally appropriate way to talk to infants - babies are engaged in learning language from birth (their brains are wired for it - it actually begins in utero). Baby talk breaks complex sounds into phonetic bites that are more attractive and easier for the baby's brain to digest, as well, the speaker is emphasizing the facial muscles necessary to emit the sound - that's why you often see infants mimicking the facial expression, i.e. when you make the "ooo" sound. Learning how a sound is made is a necessary part of learning language and that is what baby talk does. Each language has it's own phonetic composition but all language speakers utilize some form of baby talk. It is also common with pets who are also capable of understanding a certain level of verbal language. In some respects, you could say it is good manners - it helps those who are learning the rules of the road, so to speak, to learn them in a more accessible manner. Keeping things simple until a child is able to comprehend more complex instructions and sound bites just makes sense. What annoys the heck out of me is people who give complex instructions and explanations to a 2 year old, and then they wonder why they have a full on temper tantrum...



I think the baby talk Sharon is referring to is not the "ooohs" and "aaaahhhs" we say to infants.  I think she's referring (I could be wrong) to the older children she teaches, 6th graders, who still speak like baby wabies because their parents didn't teach them how to properly pronounce words.  And I agree with you Lisa, that it drives me nuts to hear an adult give complex explainations to young children.  I have a friend who does that with his daughter.  She once asked him when she was around 3 or 4, why she had to take a bath every night and instead of him just telling her "Because Mommy & Daddy want you to be clean" (or something simple like that) he went on a long 5 minute speech about germs and dirt and disease and you could just SEE her "leave the room" in her eyes....he totally lost her and confused her.  I don't use baby talk with my son but I do give him simple instructions, using actual words.....not made up baby words. 

Jinglebones - posted on 09/06/2009

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Baby talk is actually an instinctual and developmentally appropriate way to talk to infants - babies are engaged in learning language from birth (their brains are wired for it - it actually begins in utero). Baby talk breaks complex sounds into phonetic bites that are more attractive and easier for the baby's brain to digest, as well, the speaker is emphasizing the facial muscles necessary to emit the sound - that's why you often see infants mimicking the facial expression, i.e. when you make the "ooo" sound. Learning how a sound is made is a necessary part of learning language and that is what baby talk does. Each language has it's own phonetic composition but all language speakers utilize some form of baby talk. It is also common with pets who are also capable of understanding a certain level of verbal language. In some respects, you could say it is good manners - it helps those who are learning the rules of the road, so to speak, to learn them in a more accessible manner. Keeping things simple until a child is able to comprehend more complex instructions and sound bites just makes sense. What annoys the heck out of me is people who give complex instructions and explanations to a 2 year old, and then they wonder why they have a full on temper tantrum...

Krista - posted on 08/28/2009

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I swore I would never use baby talk when I had kids because it annoyed the hell out of me...but now I have a 9 month old and I think I'm a little bit guilty! I definitely don't go overboard with the baby voice, but I got in a habit of pronouncing certain words differently, and I'm starting to think that I should really quit before I end up having to spend thousands on speech therapy for the poor kid lol! By the time a child is speaking, the baby talk should really end. I've taught some grade one students who still use baby talk, and it sounds just awful on a kid that age!

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Kylie - posted on 09/06/2009

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i kind of baby talk to my youngest.. i make up words like goozhywoozshaa and he laughs at me and says gaga. i say things like my boodiful bubby boy or look it's my liddle meinnn (little man). I don't know if i use a "baby voice" but i do sing and talk to him a lot and say some silly things. i don't like it when other people baby talk to my kids tho..it's my thing..i want them to speak to my children like they would speak to any other person.

[deleted account]

I was guilty of the baby talk a little in the very begining but it wasn't all the time or anything we continued. For example, we never had a "ba ba", we always had a "bottle". I did abbreviate pacifier to "paci". Other than that, really like I said, mostly in the begining, I would say something to him like "Oh you are Momma's itty bitty baby boyyyy" or something to that effect. I don't know, I guess it just never occurred to me to speak to him any differently than I speak to anyone else. I never really thought about it if it bothers me when other people do it because no one I know really does it either. So on the part of does it bother me when other people do it? I dunno? I suppose if I were a teacher or some other adult who had to understand what the kids were saying....yeah I'd probably have an issue with it.

[deleted account]

I think family nicknames are different and meaningful rather that cutsie baby talk in a high pitched voice.

Konda - posted on 09/05/2009

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I talk 'baby talk' to my baby....not my three year old. However, being Cajun we do all have nick-names, I am Aunt Kon-Kon, my sister was Puggy until the day she died....she called me Ongie.....we don't know where she got that, perhaps a combo of Konda and Nanny, since I was both.

Vicki - posted on 09/05/2009

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I can't ever bring myself to use extreme baby talk. I also somewhat dislike if someone says, "Puppy," in reference to what is clearly a full-grown dog, though I am guilty of this sometimes myself. :)



My son is now 8 months old, and he's always been a big talker! Constantly making sounds, babbling to himself, and having "conversations." I will mimic his sounds, and then use words. For instance, "Da. Da. Dog," or, "Ma. Ma. Mommy." I do believe it's rather detrimental to refer constantly to a bottle as a "ba ba." Using correct terminoligy is best.



When I was young I rarely knew the correct word for anything, and both my brother and I had problems with pronunciation. I became an avid reader and I was mainly self-taught in most aspects. I felt I had been failed somehow.



My friend has a daughter who is now nearing seven years of age. She is easily the most well-spoken child around town. When she was younger her Auntie Glow was dubbed, "Ah-Geeo," which we often repeated as it was pretty cute. I think she was three when that sadly came to an end and proper pronunciation prevailed. She has had continued problems with "R" sounds, but the school has been helping with that as well.



I also feel it is important to correct a child's speach. For instance my young cousin will often say, "Him," in place of, "He." I even find myself wanting to correct adults who say, "Seen," instead of, "Saw," or, "Good," rather than, "Well." It's a little pet peeve.

Esther - posted on 08/30/2009

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I've never used baby talk with Lucas. However, when he first started talking he decided to name animals by the sounds they make (and that we taught him), for example a dog is not a dog but a woof woof. I do admit that I find that kind of cute, so we took to calling dogs woof woofs too. And we still do to this day. We have started to use the proper names too (and I suppose we always have) but I can't say that we're actively discouraging him yet.

Jocelyn - posted on 08/30/2009

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omg soo f-ing annoying!!! i've never done it. my mother does it. i've asked her to stop many times, but she insists on continuing. and my son will be 3 in january!!! i'm preg right now and she talks that way to me and my belly!!! so needless to say i don't go around her much for fear i will slap her... my hubby wants to strangle her for it as well :P

Krista - posted on 08/30/2009

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I just went to a one year old's birthday party this weekend, and you should have heard the baby talk going on! My grandma is the worst! She gets right in Cohen's face and speaks so high pitched that probably only babies and dogs can hear it..."izin you jus a teeny widdle tiny winy babes! Smiles for gwamma, smile for gwamma!" The worst thing I heard come out of her mouth was "tannies wight up now!" Apparently that means "stand up."

Charlie - posted on 08/30/2009

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ANNOYING ! lol .
i have on occasion but i just cant get into it , i do have a higher pitched voice when i talk to children though ,.

Dana - posted on 08/29/2009

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Well, now that you say that, I do speak back to my son when he says nana's and so forth. I guess it's REAL baby talk! :)

Johnny - posted on 08/29/2009

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I'm not really one for the cutesy high-pitched voice. It just doesn't feel natural for me. I'm not really opposed to baby talk though. And it is the most hilarious thing when it's coming out of the mouth of a very serious looking old Asian man in the mall like it did yesterday. He thought my daughter was a "cutey wooty lil' babay" and he just kept saying it over and over. But I do talk back to my daughter in baby language. Lots of "adda adda" and "nana's". I always do it in my regular voice though. It's actually helped me to realize that those sounds actually mean something specific, and it's helping me teach her the real words for those things.

Chantel - posted on 08/29/2009

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It drives me crazy!! I am guilty of changing the tone but I always make sure to use the propler words. Why teach them to talk twice? Teach them the right words to begin with!! My mother in law is HORRIBLE. She says things like " Is you pittin' " (Are you spitting) AHHHHH!!! I nagged John until he finally told her we don't want her talking like that. (he wouldn't do it at first because she's very sensitive and cries all the time) My own mom tried to teach Breanna the whole "tata" thing and I told her not to. She can just learn "please" I hate "tata".

Krista - posted on 08/29/2009

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I would baby talk, but not. Being that I would make my voice all cute, but I'd say the proper words. Baby talking to your child in which you say "Do you want a bubba wubba? How about a cwacker wacker?" does NOT help your child to communicate later on in life.

Sharon - posted on 08/29/2009

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LOL I never baby talked to my kids but I'm a nut with my pets. I talk super stupid baby talk with the animals, but rarely with babies unless I'm trying to be funny.

Dana - posted on 08/29/2009

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Ha, I'm actually Aunt Deedee. Not because of baby talk but because the baby literally couldn't talk yet. It just stuck.

Katherine - posted on 08/29/2009

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without a doubt, annoying!!!! That's why kids mimic it, have problems speaking, and so forth. My sister-in-law would drive me nuts!!! "Katelyn pet the da da, go ask aunt la la, that's ca ca" Uggghhh I thought she was going to call me Aunt Ka Ka lol

[deleted account]

Quoting Kate:

I baby talk to my dogs, does that count? I want my human kids to speak proper English so I don't indulge in baby talk with my daughter (or any future children). But since the dog will never utter a word of any human language I figure it's perfectly fine for me to "Oooh! Who wuvs da widdle cuddle bear?? Hmm! Mummy wuvs you!" to the poochies. ;)



Ya know, I admit that sometimes I call Hercules (3 1/2 year old 100 pound lab mix)  my "big fat puppy wuppy" in a stupid voice.  Afterall, my dog is a dumb mutt and maybe baby talk is the only way to get through to his screwed up brain! Ironically, I have never baby-talked to my cats and they are 10 years old-had them as kittens as my first babies! 



 



OK-so testing this out on Matthew this morning, in baby-talk, I asked Matthew (age 4 1/2) "Can Mommy get you some yummy cantaloupe?"  And I really baby-talked it up!  He just looked at me so funny for a second or 2 then said "WHAT?"!  So, in a normal voice I simply said, "Mommy has cantaloupe for you."

Michelle - posted on 08/29/2009

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I cant stand baby talk and my friends and family know it so they dont do it either. I think its hard enough for a child to learn to talk without adults making it harder. I was in the park with my 9 month old daughter and my brother the other day and he said "look at the gee gee's Addison, I said there not gee gee's they are horse's. People think its a bit wierd of me and the couple stood next to us looked at me abit wierd but i dont care. I only want my child to have to learn the english language once, not twice.

Kate CP - posted on 08/28/2009

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I baby talk to my dogs, does that count? I want my human kids to speak proper English so I don't indulge in baby talk with my daughter (or any future children). But since the dog will never utter a word of any human language I figure it's perfectly fine for me to "Oooh! Who wuvs da widdle cuddle bear?? Hmm! Mummy wuvs you!" to the poochies. ;)

Dana - posted on 08/28/2009

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Totally annoying. I use a higher pitch or a sing song voice but never a wittle baby aren't you just a cutsie wutsie. Ahhhh, I could puke just typing that out. I do have to admit, I call my son bug butt,one day I was saying it and it came out bug dutt. He laughed soooo hard, most times I now say bug dutt. :)

[deleted account]

I can't help it sometimes. I just look at her pudgy little face and the cute talk just pops out of my mouth! I do have plenty of normal chat with her too, well as normal as it can be chatting with a 9 month old!

Lindsay - posted on 08/28/2009

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I never mispronounced words using baby talk but I naturally go to a higher pitch when talking to a baby. I don't know why, it just happens.

Madeline and Cooper started preschool a couple of weeks ago and my Madeline that has always been a great speaker, has recently picked up on "baby talk". I just tell her that Mommy won't be talking to her unless she talks like a big girl and she snaps out of it. Even Cooper, who has a mild speech delay, doesn't talk baby talk so there's no need for her to. =)

Krista - posted on 08/28/2009

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I had a little boy last year who would use baby talk when he really wanted something...so it was obvious that it worked with his parents! I always had to ask him to repeat things in his grown up voice.

[deleted account]

Quoting Krista:

I swore I would never use baby talk when I had kids because it annoyed the hell out of me...but now I have a 9 month old and I think I'm a little bit guilty! I definitely don't go overboard with the baby voice, but I got in a habit of pronouncing certain words differently, and I'm starting to think that I should really quit before I end up having to spend thousands on speech therapy for the poor kid lol! By the time a child is speaking, the baby talk should really end. I've taught some grade one students who still use baby talk, and it sounds just awful on a kid that age!



 I have a 6th grader now, who I have taught since 3rd grade, who still uses baby talk.  She does have a baby brother at home, but the mom is fed up with the baby talk out of her.   Her mom & I have become quite friendly over the years so I can tell her to cut the crap out, which I did 1st period this morning! 

Amie - posted on 08/28/2009

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When my kids were small I would baby talk to them. Not extremely.. I'd use a sing song voice more than anything. I would come out with, oh aren't you just the cootest wiwill boober, every once in awhile.



I still do it to our 5 month old sometimes, I can't ever remember doing it past a year old. It just screws with them learning to talk if you do that though. You need to pronounce your words correctly if you expect your kids to learn how to pronounce them correctly.

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