Sing song voice, Parentese, Motherese--Helpful for baby
Also known as Motherese and Parentese, talking to baby in a sing song voice is great for baby's development of language skills and understanding.
It's not baby talk, per se, in that the words are mispronounced but just... sing songy. I'd wager the vast, vast majority of you have used it because it's instinctual for most people. (And, of course, mentioned in a lot of baby books) But even those of use without children tend to adopt this method of speech when around babies and small children. That high to low, and back hyper-inflected, drawn out sort of speech.
Wheeeeere's your bottle?
Peeeek- a- BOO!
It actually helps babies learn how language works in use. We are subconciously separating the parts of speech, implying meaning to a baby brain making fresh connections. That super high pitched “bottle” in “where's your bottle” let's baby know that's how we ask question. The downward slope of pitch in “Here it is!” let's baby know that's the answer. We're giiving them the barebones formula for effective communication.
We also further enunciate our syllables, our mouths very exaggerated, helping baby discern how to form the sounds necessary for our language.
It's kinda like a first-timer's cryptography puzzle... We give them the setup. We keep chatting at them. Eventually they decipher all the pieces and form understanding. Baby's are SMART. That's a pretty hard puzzle and we obviously can't just explain it to them.... They don't understand the words yet, that's the whole point! So.. the best we can do is break it down, give them the 'spacers' so to say to break the puzzle into digestible chunks.
That's one reason just chatting with baby, explaining what you're doing, and just having a back and forth with your words and their coos so they can experiment consistently is both worthwhile and important. Every conversation is a new chance to crack the code, put it in practice, and ask for feedback, Despite how adorable that lil coo is, pure genius is happening in those brain gears, so be sure to give feedback.
Did you use the sing song voice of Parentese/ Motherese?
How early did you start using it?
Have you tried testing the difference in baby's response between a sing song voice and your normal, adult voice?
What are other benefits of using a sing song voice with baby? Cheer 'em up? Calm 'em down?
Let me know your take, mama!