Parentese: Language to help your baby talk early

How can I help baby to talk early?

My baby 1 year old, but he is still not talking. Can I do anything to encourage him to speak words?

What is parentese?

Parentese: Early language development


My son is a year old which means that my husband & I can drop my son off to my In-laws place & go out in the evenings every other weekend. While we were meeting up with some friends recently, one of the girls told me she is worried about her son who seems to be lisping. Her kid is about seven years of age & still cannot correctly pronounce words that start or end with sh. Instead he  mispronounces it sh as s. For example he pronounces shoes as soos. She told me it sounded really cute when he was a toddler & that was probably the reason why she didn’t even try & correct him. But, now that he is much older it is a cause for worry. They are contemplating kids speech therapy. I have heard about few more cases of stammering in children or  Listening to my friend’s story I started wondering, what I should do to ensure that my son learns to speak clearly and correctly & not just baby-talk? With some research work on the internet & books I found the answer to my question.




Parentese or Motherese- The Language to help your baby talk early


Parentese is a way of talking by using high pitched voice in a sing a song manner accompanied by funny facial expressions.It helps parents to connect with their babies & also helps babies to develop language skills. Research has shown that babies prefer to hear Parentese to our grown up conversations.


Helps Baby in learning language


Speaking in Parentese requires using elongated vowels, high pitch, exaggerated facial expressions & short simple sentences that helps infants learn language. Their brains are mapping the sounds they are hearing & taking it in a way that gets their attention while helping them to learn & understand language. By speaking in Parentese, you will be helping your baby talk early.



Tips to speak in Parentese effectively:-


  1. You can use small word initially but, elongate the vowels like biiiig or baaabee.
  2. Try using high pitched voice & a rhythmic tone as if you are reciting a poem.
  3. You can use funny facial expressions to gain your baby’s attention.
  4. Use short sentences & speak slowly.
  5. Keep an eye contact with the baby & smile.
  6. Use precise pronunciation & grammar.



Is Parentese different from baby-talk?


Yes, Parentese is very different from baby-talk. It is actually the opposite of it. Parentese actually helps babies to learn language (it could be any). It is a language that is spoken precisely with emphasis. Whereas, baby talk just uses jumbled up words which basically makes no sense like cuchie or wabits. It is also associated with in correct grammar like- Me wants to play. This is probably why baby-talk is not encouraged as it compromises the quality of the language.



Benefits of using Parentese in teaching baby :-


  1. Speaking in Parentese hold’s the baby’s attention for a longer time & the longer they look at you & hear what you are saying, more information is gathered to be processed.
  2. Exaggerated expressions will teach your baby to understand different emotions.
  3. Your baby will also be learning to associate changes in sounds to changes in your facial expressions.
  4. Babies try to imitate you a lot quicker when you speak in Parentese. This encourages them to try to speak early.

The next time you speak to your baby; make sure you use elongated vowels with silly sounds or fun expressions. You will end up not just entertaining the baby but also teaching him/her the most important lesson of life-Language.



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 This post has been contributed by Aanchal Goel. She is an interior designer by profession and comes from a family of doctors. She is mum to an adorable 1 year old. 



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Author: Priya Sachan

Priya Sachan is the founder and Chief editor of Shishuworld. Mother to a 5 years old girl, she is an avid reader, loves cooking and dabbles in DIY whenever time permits.

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