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Baby talk by parents said to increase vocabulary in babies.
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Studies show that babies who hear baby talk more often learn to speak faster than babies whose parents speak to them normally.

It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it

According to the Daily Mail, experts claim the more words babies hear, the faster their vocabulary will grow, but new findings have shown that it’s not so much the amount of words the baby hears but the style in which they are hearing the words.

At the University of Washington and the University of Connecticut, researchers examined thousands of 30-second snippets of conversations between parents and babies.

The researchers compared parents’ use of ordinary speech to parents’ animated baby talk and whether speech occurred only between parent and child or in a group setup. Baby talk happened to be more effective when parents spoke to babies individually compared to parents and babies having conversations in a group setup.

A doctor at the University of Washington’s Institute of Learning and Brain Science said that their analysis shows that the occurrence of baby talk between one-on-one conversations with children results in better language development.

The children of parents who exaggerated vowels and changed the pitch of their voice every now and then babbled more and that is a clear indication of word production.

They also did a study on 20+ one-year-old babies who wore vests with recorders attached to them and monitored their surrounding sounds for eight hours a day for four days.

Researchers examined this recorded speech with language computer software and identified who spoke, how many people were in the surroundings and whether baby talk was used as well as other variables.

A year later when the babies were two-years-old their parents filled out questionnaires to calculate exactly how many words their children knew and the result was the babies who had heard more baby talk knew more words.

Food for thought?

The findings from the research are of particular interest to those parents who insist that using correct vocabulary and sentence structure is better for the development of speech in babies.

Do you prefer formal speech or baby talk with your child?

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