Positive Parenting: Speaking ‘Parentese’ Helps Babies Learn

A particular type of parental language can help parents boost babies’ language skills.

That’s what researchers say at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences after they recorded 77 pairs of parents as they spoke to their babies.

The study was done when the babies were 6, 10, and 14 months old.

The study found babies whose parents used “parentese” babbled more compared to babies whose parents did not.

“Parentese” is the practice of speaking with a higher pitch, slower tempo, and exaggerated vowels and words.

Researchers coached parents and gave them linguistic feedback at the 6 and 10-month mark.

The researchers measured again at 14 months and found the parents who received the coaching and increased their “parentese” had babies with larger vocabularies.

Experts also want to remind parents that you are your baby’s first teacher.

Reading to babies as young as 6 months leads to stronger vocabulary and better early literacy skills.

Developmental psychologists say just because they aren’t talking, does not mean they are not learning.

So parents, remember to speak more “parentese” and read to your little ones. You could be building your child’s vocabulary one word at a time.

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