Goo Goo Gaa Gaa
July 6, 2010 · Posted in Communication, Infant Development, Parenting · Permalink

Whether you feel silly or elated when you talk to your baby in “baby talk”, you should know that you are doing one of your most important jobs as a parent. The high pitched, drawn out, sing songy, repetitive “parent speak”, as it is now called in the field of infant research, is the perfect way to communicate with your baby. “Parent speak” is innate and cross cultural. It is a foundation of language development.

Often you hear parents say they want to talk to their child like they are more grown up so they will learn to speak more quickly, or with more sophistication. They fight the instinct to speak in baby talk. It’s helpful to know that it is precisely speaking this way that paves the way for complex conversation.

Ellen Galinsky, a seasoned professional in child development, lays out the most important research in the field of language acquisition in her new book “Mind in the Making”.  Some of  the best infant research show that parent speak also regulates the mood of the baby and helps children get into the quiet, alert state in which they learn best. So go ahead, make a fool of yourself with abandon- it’s educational!

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