Should I use baby-talk when I talk to my baby?

Bridget Hillsberg
January 31, 2022

Should I use baby-talk when I talk to my baby?

The answer is a resounding YES! Studies show that children who were exposed to more infant-directed speech, aka baby-talk or “parentese,” at age 1 tend to have a larger vocabulary at age 2 than children who were exposed to less. Some parents are comfortable with baby-talk while others feel awkward, unnatural, and even embarrassed to engage with their baby that way! Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert at parentese!

Brooke and I are baby-talk warriors.

It just comes naturally to us, and we don't care if we look like the crazy ladies talking in a sing-song princess voice to our baby in the middle of the grocery store! But we do hear from many moms that this doesn't come naturally to them and just feels weird! That’s okay. You don't have to be the fairy princess in the middle of Target! Whether you prefer the term “motherese,” “parentese,” or “baby-talk,” we do encourage you to engage in this highly beneficial infant-directed speech while you’re at home with your baby. Parentese is a slow-paced, high-pitched speaking style that adults often use while speaking to their babies. This melodic tone is shown to capture your little one’s attention more than adult-centered speech. And guess what? Research proves that talking to your baby in this manner significantly helps with their language development! Isn’t it empowering to know that you can have such a positive influence on your baby’s development just by talking to him?

We highlight these concepts in our online course, 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗸 𝗼𝗻 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗸.

This course was created to give you the tips and tools you need to help your baby stay on track and meet their communication milestones! For example, you’ll learn that there’s a “wrong way” to baby talk (using made-up words, incorrect sounds, and incorrect grammar) and there’s a “right way,” (using a high-pitched voice, exaggerated speech, correct grammar, and real words).

Our priority is not only to help you feel confident about the important role you play in your child’s language development, but to enable and equip you with proven strategies that work!

We used these evidence-based strategies with Bridget’s baby, Stella, who was saying over 200 words at 15 months! We share these strategies with you in Talk on Track to help you get your baby talking.

To learn simple and effective strategies to help get your little one talking, check out our Talk on Track (newborn-14 months) and Time to Talk: Toddler Course (15-36 months). We’d love to equip you to experience the joy of your little one talking to you!

Bridget Hillsberg
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