July 02, 2015

Q: Is it okay to use baby talk with my 2-year-old?

A: Though you should talk in full sentences, it's fine to speak in the exaggerated speech that parents naturally adopt when addressing their children. In fact, it may actually help your child learn to speak better. This speech -- called "parentese" -- has very clear and elongated vowel sounds, so it's a wonderful tutorial for young children. And because the sentences are generally short, simple, and repetitive, they're easy for toddlers to mimic. --Natalie Walker Whitlock

Copyright 2004. Reprinted with permission from the June 2000 issue of Parents magazine. Updated 2009

Answered by Parents Team


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