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3yo DS suddenly started talking in baby voice. What do we do?

(15 Posts)
tortilla Mon 06-Jun-11 20:09:49

DS is 3.2 and very articulate for his age with a broad vocabulary, and always speaking in well-constructed sentences etc. However in the past couple of weeks he has started requesting things in a baby voice, e.g. 'Mummy, please can I have a snack? I'm hungry' has become 'Mama, hungry' said in a babyish sort of tone. Basically over the weekend it has got to the stage that pretty much 90% of the time when he is requesting something from us, it is in the babyish tone of voice, but normal chatter, conversations etc. are always in his usual articulate way.

There has been no big upheaval in recent weeks - life is pretty normal at the moment. He does have an 8mo DD but she's not yet at the talking stage - babbles but no words - so it's not like he is copying her.

I'm wondering what we should do to stop this becoming a problem (as opposed to it just being a bit tedious and annoying at the moment)

a) ignore him when he speaks like that, i.e. don't respond at all when speaking like that, act as if we haven't heard him, and only respond when he speaks properly
b) ignore the baby voice, i.e. respond to the request with whatever he needs whether in baby voice or not
c) do as we're doing - not ignore but ask him to ask us properly and then respond to the request when he does

Any experience or ideas?

MadamDeathstare Mon 06-Jun-11 20:14:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShowOfHands Mon 06-Jun-11 20:14:45


"darling, I can't understand you when you speak in that strange way. You have a lovely voice, please use it". Then immediately revert to a until he asks properly.

It's a phase though. He's very young and even with an extensive vocab and verbal ability, he's still testing out his place in the world.

ShowOfHands Mon 06-Jun-11 20:16:57

But while smiling, I should add. He's not in trouble, just needs a wee bit of encouraging that it's okay to grow up and be the big brother still.

Sometimes when dd did this we'd go for 'what a funny voice, I bet I can do a funnier one...' and it became a game. Being playful and encouraging works better than trying to modify the behaviour in way that seems like you're admonishing them.

MegBusset Mon 06-Jun-11 20:22:57

I agree with MadamDS but would add that when DS1 (4) does this, I sometimes make a big game of it, like "Look at the big baby, does he need his nappy changed, shall we rock him to sleep, suck your thumb big baby..." This always cracks him up and kind of gets it out of his system iyswim.

bebsy75 Mon 06-Jun-11 21:55:40

Very annoying comment I'm sure but I wouldn't even worry about it. I have a DD1 who is same age and also very articulate. She goes in and out of this from time to time and whilst it's slightly irritating it's nothing serious. I wouldn't react any differently to when they're speaking normally - that way you avoid over-indulging them if it's just a ploy for attention, whilst also not making them feel bad for just playing around. They're probably just role playing / doing imaginary play. Don't worry :-)

meditrina Mon 06-Jun-11 22:01:39

I would cross my fingers that it's an annoying phase, and do mainly option b in the hope it passes (no attention gained from it, hope it falls away), with a bit of (very calm, and slightly bored sounding) option c for any really incomprehensible/irksome examples.

tortilla Mon 06-Jun-11 22:26:35

Thanks all. Will try to remain either disinterested or lighthearted when he does it. I think we have probably been sounding a bit exasperated when asking him to talk properly so will try to be a bit lighter about it.

Ah bless him, i think you're right, he is so little still - so bloody articulate that I think we do forget that sometimes as he sounds like he is maybe a year or so older (sorry I'm a bit PFB about his lovely vocabulary and turn of phrase, mainly because he's a little bit rubbish at other 3 year old things like drawing and riding scooters and playing football smile)

exoticfruits Mon 06-Jun-11 22:26:36

It is just a phase.
I would say to him,' I don't like that voice and I can't understand it-if you want me to listen you need your 'proper' voice'. And then ignore unless he asks properly.
Either that or answer him in the same type of voice so that he sees it is silly-make a joke of it.

exoticfruits Tue 07-Jun-11 08:21:53

The more I think about it the more I would turn it into a joke. Answer in a silly voice so he can't understand-even talk rubbish and say it is 'Double Dutch' -anything. When he says he can't understand tell him you will answer normally if he asks normally. He will get fed up as soon as the novelty wears off!

jsp56 Tue 07-Jun-11 08:48:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Catsu Tue 07-Jun-11 09:08:20

My ds2 does this too. He is 3.4 and very ahead speech wise.
I have been asking him to repeat in a normal voice and he usually does. It was quite bad for a few weeks where literally everything he said was in a baby voice. He even did it talking to himself when playing. I think he is just experimenting with language tbh because he is advanced for hos age.
It's happening a lot less now, so just a phase.

MumblingRagDoll Tue 07-Jun-11 09:12:59

My almost 7 year old is doing this for the third time! I second that it usually happens before they progress in some way...I ignore it personally...

hillyhilly Tue 07-Jun-11 09:13:22

My 6 yr old still does it and its driving me nuts!! It is part of her language development and role playing but the best thing I do is either ignore or ask her to say it properly (though I have been known to get cross about it as I really do hate it)

meditrina Tue 07-Jun-11 12:05:46

If it's any consolation - this can crop up at any time. My DCs are now older, and now have days of talking like JarJarBinks. Aaaaaagh!!!!!

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