Talking to babies

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I remeber people coming up to me when I was sitting, talking to my baby. They would laugh and say, "you know you don't need to use real words with her. She doesn't understand you. You can say bleebaly blabbaly boo and she'll love it just as much".



This got under my skin. I wanted to say, "really? You don't think it matters what language my baby learns to speak? Because that is what she's doing right now, learning a language".



Of course, I couldn't contradict their statement that my baby didn't understand me because I had no proof that she did.



Now I do:



"Combining the cutting-edge technologies of MRI and MEG, scientists at the University of California, San Diego show that babies just over a year old process words they hear with the same brain structures as adults, and in the same amount of time. Moreover, the researchers found that babies were not merely processing the words as sounds, but were capable of grasping their meaning."



Full article:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/201...



Ha!

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Charlie - posted on 01/09/2011

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While I agree that the above link is true it is also important to remember that "baby talk " plays a big part in their cognitive development too , 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.

It is also wise to remember that not one or the other should be relied on solely.

Sharon - posted on 01/09/2011

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I mostly talked adult to my kids. As babies - I babbled a little back at them. If they were ready for adult speech they'd come out of the womb able to speak.

But when they were toddlers I used adult talk. I used real words. If they saw a duck and said "what is that?" I said "its a mallard duck, the green head says its a male and its mating season."

My husband would have said "its a bird" DUH.

later they would look at a bird and say "what is that?" and I'd correct them, they knew it was a bird, they need to say that so that other people know they want a fuller explanation. So I'd correct them to "What kind of bird is that?" "its a peacock, its in the same family of birds as pheasants."

But way back in the beginning - I talked like an adult to my babies and I babbled back at them. Not because I knew any better - lol but because baby babble is fun.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/09/2011

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Sometimes I think I delayed my kids speech by using words that were too big. I know she understands them, but she certainly can't say them. I used to only talk to her like she was an adult. Then I saw a speech therapist and started doing her recommended "baby talk". It's not babbling. But we use very clear, small words with lots of repetition - say the word on it's own, use it with another word, use it in a sentence. That sort of thing. That really helped her get confident enough to repeat some stuff. And I did used to repeat her own nonsense. A combination of everything is probably your best bet.

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Corena - posted on 01/11/2011

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I'm pretty sure that the "babble" plays a big part in developing the muscles needed to speak properly.
My daughter was severely neglected by her birth mother when she should have been learning to talk and has always had speech issues...it was not because she didn't know the words or haw to say them, it was because her muscles did not form properly and she was physically incapable of producing certain sounds correctly. She is 17 now and still has issues with certain sounds.
I do believe in speaking proper English though...a balance of nonsensical sounds for the physical development and real words for the intellectual is more than likely a good idea.

Jodi - posted on 01/10/2011

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I don't really babble to babies so much, but I do talk in a sing-song type voice. I talk talk talk allllll day to my daughter, always have. I detail everything I do, from getting read in the morning, changing her, driving in the car, grocery shopping, cleaning, bathing at night etc etc etc. She's got a HUGE vocabulary for her age, so it certainly hasn't hurt her in the least! I don't think there's anything wrong with using baby-talk with infants, as long as it's not the ONLY "words" they hear!

Nicole - posted on 01/10/2011

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"Learning a language is one of the most critical things that an infant has to do, because communication with other people is tremendously important," Thiessen said. "It makes a great deal of sense that the special way we have of talking to babies would help them learn."

Very good article, the only question it has left unanswered is, "why?" Why does it only make sense? Because it is what most people do naturally?

Sara - posted on 01/10/2011

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I had read somewhere when I was pregnant that the number of words a baby hears in it's first year can be directly correlated with it's intelligence. So yeah, I talked to my baby ALL THE TIME and she's now 2 and smart as a whip! I know that there are obviously other factors that come into play, but it obviously doesn't hurt.

Amanda - posted on 01/10/2011

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babbling back at baby also helps them with speech patterns and interaction and helps them to build confidence in thier speech.
i do both, i babble back and talk constantly with my kids.

Bonnie - posted on 01/10/2011

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Baby talk or babbling whatever you want to call it helps infants to make sounds and exercise their vocal cords. They find it funny when you do what they do. I don't feel there is anything wrong with babbling along with them when they are infants, but it is also helpful to talk to them as well to build up for when it comes time for them to learn how to talk. When I use to change my boys' diapers, I use to step by step tell them what I was doing, even though they couldn't understand me.

Nicole - posted on 01/10/2011

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I remember when I was doing only online courses; I would sometimes read one of my textbooks to my squishie while he played. Maybe this is why one of my son's first words was boring, lol. He did not like Aristotle!

Shauna - posted on 01/10/2011

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From classes ive taken for Early childhood Ed ... they all teach to talk like a normal person to the baby. And to talk OFTEN!!! tell the baby everything you are doing. If your brushing your hair in front of them tell them mommy is brushing her hair, i brush my hair to get the tangles out ... make it as detailed as possible they are little sponges and learning and picking up so much!
The idea that babies only start learning at a certain age is a myth. In fact some used to believe that your child doesnt actually start learning untill they go to kindgergarden .... Then they leaned they can learn things in preschool ... now they know children are learning in infant classes .... babies learn the most when they are BABIES!!!! They size of their brain grows so rapidly when they are young.
So yes talk talk talk talk talk to your baby!!!!
Everymorning when my son is in his highchair eating breakfast i read him Coso magazine b/c im reading it. I might as well talk out loud!

Tara - posted on 01/10/2011

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That being said, I did talk babble talk to them when they were really little and still play phonetic games where we use same syllable rhyming, etc.
Bbbb Baby... Ma Ma Ma mama. Da da da daddy.
But when I talk to him I don't say things like "Let's go in the t-t-t-t truck." Or "Let's go have a smathy bathy bibbly bathy." kind of stuff..
:)

[deleted account]

I think baby talk helps them fine tune their vocals, when they are trying to speak, a little demonstration can make a huge difference. Babies can definitely understand a lot more then most people give them credit for. We do sign language and speak fluently with body language.

Jenn - posted on 01/10/2011

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I repeat some of the baby sounds they make, but mostly use real words. But when talking to a baby I do use a more rhythmic tone of voice.

Tara - posted on 01/10/2011

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of course they understand us!!

We are a mammalian species, and our language skills develop long before our vocal skills, we comprehend body language almost immediately after birth, we begin to understand facial expressions within days of birth, we can mimic facial expressions within days of birth, we are constantly learning communication skills, comprehension of words starts long before the ability to talk.

My little ones were always treated as if they understood what I was saying to them, and even though I raised my voice to a higher level, I spoke in english to them, I pointed at things and talked about them, we named our family members daily, the dogs too...

The sheer rate of brain growth in the first 24 months is astounding, it makes sense that they are understanding us long before they can talk fluently in "our" language.

Riley is 13 months, I have to spell the following words and phrases now "Shower, bath, downstairs, outside, feed the dogs, go to town, go in the truck" and more. His understanding of the english language astounds even me, and he is my sixth child. I saw this with all my other kids too, babies are a helluva a lot smarter than most people give them credit for. And they don't need "baby einstein" to get there, they just need lots of interaction, lots of play, lots of love...



edited to change focal to vocal, lol

:)

[deleted account]

I baby talk and i adult talk to my children. I have in the past few days looked after a little girl who is 4 months older than my little boy. My son is leaps and bounds ahead in language than this little girl is. I was suprised. I do think though, that it may have to do with the fact that both her parents work full time jobs where as i am the main influence in my childens lives. Not that i have anything against working parents.

Charlie - posted on 01/09/2011

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"so why would a baby learn to speak English by hearing an adult say gobbley goop words?

The point at this stage isn't about the particular language but simply the formation of various sounds ( the first stepping stone to vocabulary )

"this study suggests that comprehension comes before speech therefore what we say when we speak to our kids IS significant "

Like I said I agree with this study but there is simply so much more to developing vocabulary than this , it is shown over and over in therpay for children with speech delays .

Before a child is able to pronounce a word in a certain language they must learn to form the letters and sounds that make up the word and "baby talk " is part of that learning in combination with using proper ( insert language)

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2011

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or in short, this study suggests that comprehension comes before speech therefore what we say when we speak to our kids IS significant

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2011

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What I am posting about is how when I was talking with my child people would come up to me and say, "You can say anything, it won't matter to her". They would than go on to speak gobley goop...which they called, "baby talk".

I prefer to make sounds followed by words, such as, "bbb baby" as I think it does matter what I say.

As far as my example goes, I was saying that when an adult starts to learn a language while immersion is useful, they do not learn words by hearing them at full speed in conversation, they start with slow repetition of words, then they learn the grammer rules and start putting sentences together. They also don't learn to speak Spanish by hearing someone with an accent say gobbley goop words, so why would a baby learn to speak English by hearing an adult say gobbley goop words?

Charlie - posted on 01/09/2011

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Nicole what you are describing as baby talk isn't infact "baby talk " it is babble , it is fun , it does help in small part to help babies form their vocab but baby talk is actually considered what you describe here : I think that it is better to say, “bbb baby. Hi. Thank you. Mmmm more Mmmm milk”
But to be honest Im not sure what you are saying , are you saying that listening to the spanish language spoken between two people at their own speed would sound like babble ? It would feel at first like it would be impossible to learn that way but full language immersion is a very effective way to learn a language in fact it is practiced by some schools and is used by many travellers with great outcome .

Heather said :It's not babbling. But we use very clear, small words with lots of repetition - say the word on it's own, use it with another word, use it in a sentence .

Exactly it is a gradual build up of the word not just repeating sounds without moving forward , we used this with the very young ones with speech delay at our sister childcare ( to our kindergarden ) .

Stifler's - posted on 01/09/2011

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I just use small words and repeat myself a lot I don't know why. I don't even think about it it just comes out.

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2011

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The way I see it, if I needed to learn to speak Spanish I would not learn from normal speed Spanish conversations (though hearing these would help my brain get used to hearing certain sounds that are unique to Spanish, they would be too fast for me to learn the words and what they meant) and I would not learn to speak Spanish by listening to someone who spoke Spanish speak gobbley goop (though this would also help me hear certain sounds unique to Spanish).

I think it does matter what I said when someone is talking to a baby. I think that it is better to say, “bbb baby. Hi. Thank you. Mmmm more Mmmm milk” than to say, “boo boo baaa baa mma glubeegoo”.

[deleted account]

when gabby gets the babbles i babble with her and construct words out of the babble. I talk to her all the time when shes awake.

Stifler's - posted on 01/09/2011

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I always talked to my kid all day. I'd get bored if I didn't talk !

Meghan - posted on 01/09/2011

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My son would look at anyone who used babble with him like they were idiots. From day one I talked "normally" to him...we had a few "baby words" but for the most part I talked to him like I would talk to any other human being- with more annunciation I suppose. I get the notion of repeating back baby babble but I always just pretended that I understood what he said and responded with real words.

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2011

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What I have heard is that if a baby says 'ba' you say, "baaaa baaa banana". I don't think talking to a baby in "baby talk" is useful for their development, though I am not opposed to being proven wrong

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