IDS or "baby talk"

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Johnny - posted on 08/15/2010

8,686

26

322

"That's true. @ Christina, I do know 5yo's who can't pronounce r's and l's. It's like, you're FIVE!!! You still talk like a baby. Not their fault of course, but it's terrible."

I could not pronounce my r's or l's until I was 7 or 8 and my orthodontics had progressed enough to make room in my mouth for my tongue to form those letters. The speech pathologists did not work with me because I understood how, but could not physically achieve the sounds. It came naturally when my jaw was enlarged. Please do not assume that children are unable to speak properly because they are treated like babies, or are idiots. Many children have physical issues that prevent proper speech development as children. It is actually surprisingly common.

We did a little baby talk with my daughter, although not much. The only baby talk word she uses is mum mum to refer to food, which is from her Russian family who uses it all the time, even without the kids around. She has a well-developed vocabulary and is fairly easy to understand. She sometimes pluralizes words unnecessarily or adds extra suffixes that don't need to be there (I'm dippying my carrots in homouses). But overall, I'm happy with her speech and comprehension levels. And she can be more clearly understood now at 2 than I was when I was 5.

Charlie - posted on 08/15/2010

11,203

111

409

Baby talk, also referred to as caretaker speech, infant-directed speech (IDS) or child-directed speech (CDS)and informally as "motherese", "parentese", or "mommy talk"), is a nonstandard form of speech used by adults in talking to toddlers and infants. It is usually delivered with a "cooing" pattern of intonation different from that of normal adult speech: high in pitch, with many glissando variations that are more pronounced than those of normal speech. Baby talk is also characterized by the shortening and simplifying of words.



baby talk often involves shortening and simplifying words, with the possible addition of slurred words and nonverbal utterances, and can invoke a vocabulary of its own. Some utterances are invented by parents within a particular family unit, or passed down from parent to parent over generations, while others are quite widely known.

Use with infants



Baby talk is more effective than regular speech in getting an infant's attention. Studies have shown that infants actually prefer to listen to this type of speech.[6] Some researchers, including Rima Shore (1997), believe that baby talk is an important part of the emotional bonding process. Other researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Wisconsin confirm that using basic “baby talk” helps babies pick up words faster than usual.[7] Infants actually pay more attention when parents use infant-directed language, which has a slower and more repetitive tone than used in regular conversation.



Colwyn Trevarthen studied babies and their mothers. He observed the communication and subtle movements between the babies and mothers. He has links to music therapy with other theorists.[8]

[edit] Aid to cognitive development



Shore and other researchers believe that baby talk contributes to mental development, as it helps teach the child the basic function and structure of language. Studies have found that responding to an infant's babble with meaningless babble aids the infant's development; while the babble has no logical meaning, the verbal interaction demonstrates to the child the bidirectional nature of speech, and the importance of verbal feedback. Some experts advise that parents should not talk to infants and young children solely in baby talk, but should integrate some normal adult speech as well. The high-pitched sound of motherese gives it special acoustic qualities which may appeal to the infant (Goodluck 1991). Motherese may aid a child in the acquisition and/or comprehension of language-particular rules which are otherwise unpredictable, when utilizing principles of universal grammar (Goodluck 1991). It has been also suggested that motherese is crucial for children to acquire the ability to ask questions.[9] Some[who?] feel that parents should refer to the child and others by their names only (no pronouns, e.g., he, I, or you), to avoid confusing infants who have yet to form an identity independent from their parents.

[edit] Questions regarding universality



Researchers Bryant and Barrett (2007) [10] have suggested (as have others before them, e.g., Fernald, 1992 [11]) that baby talk exists universally across all cultures and is a species-specific adaptation. Others[who?] contend that it is not universal and argue that its role in helping children learn grammar has been overestimated. As evidence they point to some societies (such as certain Samoan tribes; see first reference) adults do not speak to their children until the children reach a certain age. In other societies, it is more common to speak to children as one would to an adult, but with simplifications in grammar and vocabulary.



In order to relate to the child during baby talk, a parent may deliberately slur or fabricate some words, and may pepper the speech with nonverbal utterances. A parent might refer only to objects and events in the immediate vicinity, and will often repeat the child's utterances back to them. Since children employ a wide variety of phonological and morphological simplifications (usually distance assimilation or reduplication) in learning speech, such interaction results in the "classic" baby-words like na-na for grandmother or din-din for dinner, where the child seizes on a stressed syllable of the input, and simply repeats it to form a word.



In any case, the normal child will eventually acquire the local language without difficulty, regardless of the degree of exposure to baby talk. However, the use of motherese could have an important role in affecting the rate and quality of language acquisition.

A fair number of baby talk and nursery words refer to bodily functions or the genitals, partly because the words are relatively easy to pronounce. Moreover, such words reduce adults' discomfort with the subject matter, and make it possible for children to discuss such things without breaking adult taboos.



Some examples of widely-used baby talk words and phrases in English, many of which are not found within standard dictionaries, include:



* baba (blanket, bottle or baby)

* beddy-bye (go to bed, sleeping, bedtime)

* binkie (pacifier (dummy) or blanket)

* blankie (blanket)

* boo-boo (wound or bruise)

* bubby (brother)

* bubba (brother)

* dada (dad, daddy)

* didee (diaper)

* din-din (dinner)

* doedoes (In South African English, the equivalent of beddy-bye)

* googoogaga

* num nums (food/dinner)

* ickle (little (chiefly British))

* icky (disgusting)

* jammies (pajamas)

* nana (grandmother)

* oopsie-daisy (accident)

* owie (wound or bruise)

* passie or paci (pacifier (dummy))

* pee-pee (urinate or penis)

* pewie (smelling bad)

* poo-poo or doo-doo (defecation)

* potty (toilet)

* sissy (sister)

* sleepy-bye (go to bed, sleeping, bedtime)

* stinky (defecation)

* tummy (stomach)

* wawa (water)

* wee-wee (urination or penis)

* widdle (urine (chiefly British))

* widdle (little (chiefly American))

* wuv (love)

* yucky (disgusting)

* yum-yum (meal time)

* mama (mother)

* uppie (wanting to be picked up)



Moreover, many words can be derived into baby talk following certain rules of transformation, in English adding a terminal /i/ sound is a common way to form a diminutive which is used as part of baby talk, examples include:



* horsey (from horse)

* kitty (from cat or kitten)

* potty (originally from pot now equivalent to modern toilet)

* doggy (from dog)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_talk

[deleted account]

I don't think it helps that some of us are refering to the "baby talk" that's defined in the article and some are refering to their own interpretation. The articles outlines what INFANT-DIRECTED SPEECH is and hopefully we can all get on the same page?

Brandy - posted on 08/16/2010

1,353

0

157

Here is a link for a speech chart. The beginning of the colored part is what age a child will generally start to develop the sound. The end of the colored part is at the age where they should have it and if not, they would be a good candidate for speech therapy. I know you already retracted your statement Katherine but for future reference and just for a guideline if anyone else wants to use it.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jvqENWz8plQ/SI...

Shelley - posted on 08/15/2010

435

0

34

I don't use baby talk my tone and pitch probably change i have spoken the same way with both my kids i think personality comes into it as well my oldest started saying words at 9 months and was speaking full sentences at 15 months my youngest is 15 months and just says some words.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

39 Comments

View replies by

Brandy - posted on 08/17/2010

1,353

0

157

No problem. I try to post it on any speech threads I can because I thought it was really interesting when my SIL showed it to me for the first time and most people honestly don't know that it is completely normal for certain sounds to take up until 8-9 years old to develop.

Katherine - posted on 08/16/2010

65,420

232

5195

That's an interesting chart. I guess one would just assume by *poof* at whatever age(5-6 maybe) most kids can pronounce all of their letters and th sounds..... I try so hard not to assume........so hard. Now I know better. Thanks for the info.

Hannah - posted on 08/16/2010

66

1

0

We use some baby talk. I had never noticed the tone etc.. before, but now recognize that I do talk in a higher pitch. We use binkers for a binkie sipper for a sippy cup. I guess we have developed our own "slang" in the house. We don't do googoogaga baby talk though.

Lea - posted on 08/16/2010

540

11

21

baby talk is great for infants because they are learning the sounds of speech and baby talk exaggerates those sounds, but its not for toddlers who should be learning normal speech.

ME - posted on 08/16/2010

2,978

18

193

I don't know...but I find baby talk unnatural, and have never done it. I DO know that my 2 year old son is UNBELIEVABLY verbal...most people who hear him talking assume that he is 3 or 4 years old due to his large vocabulary and distinct pronunciation, we have always corrected him when he mispronouced his words, no matter how many times we had to do it...I am not doing anything differently with my daughter...

Katherine - posted on 08/16/2010

65,420

232

5195

@ Carol, I guess I should have worded that differently. I did not mean to imply anyone was an idiot, or baby. There are instances when it is a speech impediment, and instances(my neice for example) That I believe did stem from "baby talk." I apologize for making it sound so crude!

C. - posted on 08/16/2010

4,125

35

242

"I could not pronounce my r's or l's until I was 7 or 8.."

Thank you for that, Carol. I had not met someone that had a physical limitation to keep them from pronouncing letters properly, so thank you for sharing. I HAVE known people that just didn't think anything was wrong with their kids and talked to them by replacing R's with W's and such and their kids went on saying their words just as their parents had taught them.. All the way up until they were in high school. It wasn't anything medically wrong with them, though. If you physically cannot do it, that's understandable. But I do know that some parents don't think of the repercussions and allow their children to continue speaking that way for years and THAT is what I have a problem with. Again, thank you for shedding some light on other aspects. Very helpful.

Stifler's - posted on 08/15/2010

15,141

154

604

We're all talking about IDS. Those people that are like "Bot bot? Baby want bot bot?".

Stifler's - posted on 08/15/2010

15,141

154

604

I hate baby talk. I hate "bot bot" for bottle "toofy pegs" for teeth etc. I can't bring myself to do it, but I talk to Logan all day long and tell him we have texts from daddy and ask him what he wants for lunch even though he is 6 months old and I decide anyway because he doesn't care. My tone does change though and it's not something I can control, so weird.

Jane - posted on 08/15/2010

1,041

5

69

Never did baby talk to my kids (now 20 and almost 17). Couldn't stand it. They both had amazing vocabularies by the time they were 1. With my daughter (the 20 year old), we actually counted how many words she said by her first birthday and it was a little over 100. We spoke in correct terminology from the time they were born. It was very important to me not to have children that spoke incorrectly. They both have extremely high IQ's, were always at the top of their class and are extremely articulate speakers.

Sarah - posted on 08/15/2010

5,465

31

344

I don't think there's anything wrong with "baby talk" so long as it's not the ONLY way you speak to your child. We started off saying things like "Look, there's a Moo-Moo" then it progressed to "Moo-Moo cow" then "Look there's a cow, it says Moo" It didn't always work exactly like that, but you get the drift. If your 8 year old is still saying "Oooh, a Moo-Moo" then perhaps you have over used "baby talk".
I think most people manage to strike a happy balance though. Kids aren't stupid, I remember saying to Shia when she about one ish "Look, a birdie!" and she said "No Mama, it's a BIRD!!!"

Everything in moderation. :)

C. - posted on 08/15/2010

4,125

35

242

Brandy and Dana.. I did not read the article, I did not have time to read the article. I was basing it on what I refer to as baby talk. It was just an opinion.



But I DID say: "For those who swear by baby talk: How can your baby learn to pronounce R's and L's properly if the parent can't even seem to do it?"



Of course, I have already explained what I think when I hear the term 'baby talk', so maybe that makes more sense now?

[deleted account]

I was just thinking the same thing Brandy....."baby talk", otherwise known as Infant-directed Speech, is clearly defined in the article, Christina. We're not talking about "cutsie wootsie booboo baby talk".

Brandy - posted on 08/14/2010

1,353

0

157

Charlene, it's because they respond to a higher pitch more often.

Christina- look at my above post about what the researchers are refering to when they say 'baby talk'. They don't mean purposely mispronouncing words. They mean repeating constanant sounds to babies who are less than a year old.

Charlene - posted on 08/14/2010

631

29

25

I don't baby talk Gracie and at almost 13 months, she has a vocabulary of 30+ words, including several names.



My pitch often does get higher when I speak to her though, I'm not exactly sure why.

Charlie - posted on 08/14/2010

11,203

111

409

This was on the news quiet a while ago talking about it baby talk being the first steps to developing vocabulary and that all those annoying kids shows that talk gibberish like teletubbies actually put a lot of research into the dialogue of their shows .

Katherine - posted on 08/14/2010

65,420

232

5195

That's true. @ Christina, I do know 5yo's who can't pronounce r's and l's. It's like, you're FIVE!!! You still talk like a baby. Not their fault of course, but it's terrible.

C. - posted on 08/14/2010

4,125

35

242

Quoting Teresa: "My son calls cats/kittens 'meow meows'. "

See, I don't call that 'baby talk', though.. When I think of baby talk, I think of parents saying things like 'cute wittwe baby' or 'do you wanna pway wif your toys?'.. Things like that. I think pretty much every kid goes through a phase where they want certain items called certain names. Some phases are short, some are longer.

C. - posted on 08/14/2010

4,125

35

242

I very rarely did any kind of baby talk with my son. And guess what? He has a bigger vocabulary and can pronounce the words properly compared to other 2 year olds. You can understand what he is saying w/o guessing, he's that clear. So I guess speaking to him like he was a human being was Ok :)



For those who swear by baby talk: How can your baby learn to pronounce R's and L's properly if the parent can't even seem to do it?

Brandy - posted on 08/14/2010

1,353

0

157

My SIL is a speech pathologist and it is important but mostly for children under 1 year old. I used it with my children but only until they were starting to say words. It is the repetition of the constanant sounds that are helpful and I think we all do it with our children without even noticing. Like with my 7 month old, I have been doing it since he started babbling at about 3 months old. Babababa, lalalala, mamama, rarara, doodoodoo. They make the noise, you copy it and repeat it, they learn what sound they are making and eventually how to make the sound purposely. I never used baby words with my daughter though. A bottle is a bottle, I can't think of any more examples but you know where I'm going with that. lol. My daughter has amazing speech for a 2 year old and I think alot of it has to do with the info that my SIL has given me. And yes, Caitlin, it is normal for her speech to take longer when there are more languages being learned.

Caitlin - posted on 08/14/2010

1,915

5

172

I vary my pitch, but never use baby words. My daughter has picked up that her cow says moo, and now she calls it her Moo.. It's cute, but she knows, I always refer to it as her cow, if I ask her to pick up her cow, she always does, so she knows what it is. Her speech is slow coming in, maybe that's because we use about 4 different languages in the house, apparently it can take longer for kids who grow up with different languages in the house.

[deleted account]

If you watch babies they respond better to the high pitches in voices (my baby did anyway). Yes, I used baby talk if you are referring to changing inflection and pitch. When I talk to her (now 2) I tend to talk a little more slowly and in a little higher voice and make sure my words are clear. I can't think of any actual baby words we use (ba-ba, etc.). When she says something incorrectly, I tend to repeat it back to her using the correct word. But the study is interesting. Something that seems to happen naturally when parents speak to their kids is actually stimulating their little brains.

[deleted account]

I did/do use some 'baby talk', but not the cutesie tone changing stuff. My son calls cats/kittens 'meow meows'. He actually used to get mad at you if you tried to tell him it was a kitty. ;)

I don't know if I've done it right or wrong, but all my kids have been fairly early talkers. My son is almost 2 years 5 months and he pretty much never shuts up (just like his sisters). He is pretty hard to understand, but that's cuz there are a lot of letters that he can't/doesn't pronounce yet.

[deleted account]

I definitely talked differently (and still do) to Roxanne than I would to Chad. "Is it time for a bottle?" is high pitched and sqeaky when addressing Roxanne but if I was to ask Chad the same question my voice, tone, pitch etc. would be less exaggerated and flat, so to speak. HOWEVER, I'm not a fan of "ba ba" or "ta ta" etc......those "baby words" should be reserved for a learning for a baby. When Roxanne would point and ask for her "ba ba", I would ask her, "is it time for a bottle?" in a high pitched, over exaggerated squeak(ish) voice BUT I always tried to use the proper words.

I think by using diction, changing the pitch or tone of our voices and emphasizes or exaggerating certain words we're helping to engage our children and I can definitely understand what the study is TRYING to prove.

[deleted account]

Ugh...I never baby talked my son and I get irritated by it. But Sharon is right in regard to varrying the pitch & tone of what you're saying. I also used proper terminology with my son. And yes...I baby talk more to the 100+ pound dog more than with the boy! Actually, a few months ago my son had jsut a really bad cold and was miserable. He crawled up into my lap for snugglies and I said something to him in baby talk. He just looked up at me and said "What?"

Sharon - posted on 08/14/2010

11,585

12

1315

Is it the baby talk? Or the pitch? Tone? or inflection? there are to many variables - again - to call this study conclusive.

Katherine - posted on 08/14/2010

65,420

232

5195

Basically 'baby talk' is an integral part of language. I use one word when speaking to my 15mo, like, "eat", "drink." I do say "ba, ba" She started it!! Other than that I don't use 'baby talk', but the article is saying to use it. It actually shows stronger brain waves when used with toddlers....???? Who woulda thunk?

Jaime - posted on 08/14/2010

4,427

24

197

Okay, so after reading Sharon's post, I think I do have the right idea about this article. I change the inflection of my voice a lot when speaking to Gray...he seems to respond better to the tone and inflection of my voice than the actual words I'm speaking. Probably because he's just coming up on 18 months and just learning to understand past the basic words. I am not a fan of baby talk really. I don't call it a 'baba'..it's a bottle. I don't call it a 'sucky, chewchie, binkie, dummy' it's a pacifier or soother, I don't have silly names for his penis, etc. BUT I will goof off with him and say things like "look at all them toofies" in a funny voice and he laughs. So I don't know, I suppose I'm on the fence about this but I much prefer to speak to him like a person.

Sharon - posted on 08/14/2010

11,585

12

1315

I didn't do the baby talk thing to my kids. I don't know why. Oh I did once in a while when we were being exceptionally playful but not as a rule.

Hell - I do more baby talk to my dog.

My kids all test in the highschool to college range for vocabulary and enunciation etc. Their speech is exceptional.

I do get irritated by parents who treat their kids like retards. Super simple words, and insanely exaggerated baby talk.

I never just said "its a bird." I said "Its a pekin duck." Its not a 'kitty cat' its a "bengal tiger." Very specific - it drove my husband nuts.

Jaime - posted on 08/14/2010

4,427

24

197

Very interesting article, but I'm not sure that I'm understanding it fully. From what I gather, it's saying that 'baby talk' used by parents when talking with their infants is an important part of their speech development process. I guess I'm just not sure what they mean by baby talk because I've seen cases where (what I perceive as) baby talk has backfired and there are 10 year olds running around talking like babies and whining to their parents to get their attention.

Perhaps someone else can shed some light on this for me, or maybe I'm not just understanding it correctly.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms