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AIBU to hate baby language

(108 Posts)
PorridgeLove Sun 24-Mar-19 18:26:00

DS is 2 years old . We have just talked to him in a normal way and his language has developed very well. At nursery, they talk to the kids in a normal way, too. It drives me bonkers when someone talks to him in a baby voice or uses baby language. He does not enjoy it either because, frankly, I think he does not understand what they are trying to get at.

AIBU to be annoyed when family and friends try baby language on him?

ethelfleda Sun 24-Mar-19 18:27:42

I suppose, because he is your baby.

However, I don’t necessarily agree. Apparently, the sort of ‘song-song’ voice that some people use when talking to their babies is supposed to help speech development rather than hinder it.

picklemepopcorn Sun 24-Mar-19 18:28:05

YABU. It helps many children to hear high pitched, repetitive language. It may well still help your son, as the patterns of rhythm and rhyme help with reading.

ethelfleda Sun 24-Mar-19 18:28:10

That meant to say I suppose YANBU because he is your baby.

SimonJT Sun 24-Mar-19 18:30:45

I don’t use a baby voice but I do over exaggerate my facial expressions when I talk to my little boy, he has a hearing impairment, so it helps him communicate.

FineWordsForAPorcupine Sun 24-Mar-19 18:33:51

I feel the same - it's weird and embarrassing when adults do baby talk at children. It doesn't help the child to understand what's happening either, it's totally about the other adult indulging themselves.

Its even worse when the adults make up and use babyish words and encourage the child to use them - I had a friend who had made up all these stupid nicknames for things - a knife was a chopchop and the cat was a mew-mew and so on. She encouraged her kids to use those words and now likes to reminisce about how cute they were. She says stuff like "Do you remember how sweet it was when Little Jimmy was three and called a hammer a knock knock?" and I want to say "That was you and you were thirty" :/

Stayawayfromitsmouth Sun 24-Mar-19 18:34:20

Teaching a kid to say ta instead of thankyou is a bugbear of mine.

AuntieStella Sun 24-Mar-19 18:34:29

YANBU to have preferences for what sort of voices you want to hear, and that you want round your DC.

But YABU to condemn 'motherese' completely as it has been studied and does have a positive influence in child language development. (And that benefit happens regardless of which language is being spoken in exaggerated fashion, it's a universal phenomenon).

Butttons Sun 24-Mar-19 18:35:42

I'm with you OP. I also hate it when MIL people feel the need to talk to children in a high pitched voice.

Anique105 Sun 24-Mar-19 18:35:44

Yanbu. I feel awkward and stupid talking baby ways and I just couldnt do it. My ds is 2.5 and speaks so well.
My friend does this and she sounds ridiculous, not to mention her Dd also uses those words.

Rtmhwales Sun 24-Mar-19 18:36:52

I hate it too. But when I briefly studied linguistics at uni, they covered this and there is a real it's done and helps babies and toddlers develop natural. It's also universal across cultures so there has to be an evolutionary need for it.

That being said I rarely if ever speak to infant DS in baby talk.

ScafellPoke Sun 24-Mar-19 18:40:57

I agree op. I have never done it with dc, they’re 5 and 9 now and their speech is spot on.

I too hated ta for thankyou, biccie for biscuit and yoggie for yoghurt. Why?! Why not just say what it is?!

Itwouldtakemuchmorethanthis Sun 24-Mar-19 18:42:38

It’s been shown to help language development. It’s unusual that a child doesn’t pick up the intent or have the flexibility to change communication when talking to different known adults in their life. I would say those who have gained language without the stepping stone of “baby-talk” but are unable to adapt will benefit from practicing different styles of communication.
YABU to hate whatever you like, but it’s probably better for the baby to have a richer range of input than just your voice.

picklemepopcorn Sun 24-Mar-19 18:43:21

Despite two very articulate parents, both my DC needed speech therapy which included using signs to support their speech.

I do fondly remember DS2 saying "dockdile- nap nap" using his hands to make a crocodile's jaws.

Ca55andraMortmain Sun 24-Mar-19 18:43:58

Urgh yanbu! I hate it too. We never used baby talk to DD and then she started nursery came home spouting all kinds of nonsense. What gets me is that half the time the nonsense baby words are longer/harder to say than the actual words. Loads of people round here say 'cap-a cap-a handies!' to babies. Surely it's easier to just say 'clap hands!'? Same with things like 'milkies' - it's easier to say milk, it's less cringey to say milk, the baby understands the word milk just as just say milk!

Yes, repetitive, sing songy speech does help babies to learn but surely if you teach them to say 'choo- choo puff' then a year down the line they'll need to learn to say 'train' anyway so have to learn all the words twice!

MissPollyHadADolly19 Sun 24-Mar-19 18:44:54

@stayawayfromitsmouth same to that!!! I hate it with a passion!!
I used to have a friend who even to other adults would say - bokkle, likkle, hospikal etc hmm fucking drives me insane.

SleepingStandingUp Sun 24-Mar-19 18:45:21

Surely there's a difference tho in using the singy singy voice and exaggerated face and tones that helps kids and making up words for stuff. So "would you like a turn on the roundabout" in that baby tone vs "does bubby wanna go roundyround on the twirlywirlywoo"

MissPollyHadADolly19 Sun 24-Mar-19 18:47:05

As for the OP yanbu, I dislike baby talk but I do talk more higher pitched and child like to others children than my own - mainly because alot of them don't understand unless I talk that way.

DartmoorDoughnut Sun 24-Mar-19 18:49:42

Meh cows are still moo cows here, oh and Father Christmas is Farmer Christmas which I frankly adore and it’s still better than saying Santa

CapeDaisy5 Sun 24-Mar-19 18:50:03

Speaking in "baby talk", or "motherese" as Bornstein called it in his research, has been proven to be effective in language development. It helps baby's to notice all the different sounds and how they join together, all the component parts of speech which can be hard to decipher during quicker and more complex adult discourse. Exaggerated facial expressions also help.

happymummy12345 Sun 24-Mar-19 18:50:15

I hate baby talk, things like bot bot for bottle and similar. Just use the correct word.

CapeDaisy5 Sun 24-Mar-19 18:52:03

As someone else said in this thread, there is a difference between the above and making up random cutesy words.

SleepingStandingUp Sun 24-Mar-19 18:54:02

Also Ta is perfectly acceptable here from an adult too, so it's normal to teach it kids. Wouldn't of we lived somewhere posh

DoneLikeAKipper Sun 24-Mar-19 18:55:19

Baby talk helps young children learn how to speak. It’s a complicated thing, learning speak (though obviously there are some super-duper marvellous children on MN who don’t need any silliness to learn), using short, nonsensical words and sounds makes it simpler to pick up and concentrate on.

but surely if you teach them to say 'choo- choo puff' then a year down the line they'll need to learn to say 'train' anyway

And a few years later then can learn it can also be called a ‘steam locomotive’ or a ‘tram’ or a ‘thing that’s always fucking late’. Amazing thing about language is that you can keep learning it, even after the baby years!

AuntieStella Sun 24-Mar-19 19:00:55

It's likely that the earlier you learn that things can have more than one term, the better (for fluency, creative expression and the learning of further languages).

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