Want To Help Baby’s Language Skills Develop? Try Learning “Parentese”

If you are hoping to help your baby improve their language skills try learning “parentese.” It’s a way of communicating with your baby using everyday words and sentences, but with elongated vowels and exaggerated tones. A new study has found that parents who have been picking up on the language style and those who learned more about it had an impact on their kids’ vocabulary.

Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences found infants tend to prefer parentese over standard speech, and they found babies who have been around parents who use more high pitched and exaggerated tones and elongated vowels to communicate have larger vocabularies.

Researchers studied audio recording of 77 parents who participated in the study and their infants, who were 6 months of age at the start. One group of parents were coached throughout and received language interaction tips, the other set acted as the control group.  They communicated with their infants as they normally would with no coaching. Babies whose parents were coached during the study ended up being more verbal by 14 months.

But don’t get parentese confused with “baby talk.” Baby talk can just be gibberish, a mash-up of words and sounds, parentese, on the other hand, involves real words and sentences spoken directly to the child in an exaggerated manner. Researchers say it helps babies talk back and cues them in on what’s going on socially.

So just remember how you talk to our baby may matter more than the number of words you use around them. Give it a whirl and become fluent in parentese, you may be surprised by how your little one responds now and in the future. This technique can be implemented in regular conversation, as a parent reads to an infant, or even with a song. Learning language doesn’t have to be boring or plain! It is important to also make different sounds to your baby while they are learning language, as these sounds can lead to the formation of larger words.

Have you ever tried speaking to your infant in parentese? Will you now, knowing the results of this study? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comment section!

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