As infants, when an adult would chime in with these "words" or sound effects, my children would simply give them a confused look as if to say "What is wrong with that person?" I'm glad most of them didn't notice as many feelings could have been hurt. Most people I was close with knew my rule, but I generally didn't say anything to people who would only see the baby every once in a while, so as not to hurt feelings or turn it into a controversy or heated discussion.
Yes, children need to be children, but they also need to learn. As parents, it is our job to teach them everything they need to know to succeed in the world. Could this baby talk be a reason for some children taking speech classes? It is likely not a cause for every case, but surely it could be a cause for some of them. If babies hear words incorrectly, they will inevitably speak them wrong as well. After all, if they don't hear the correct word often enough, what else would they think? They will, of course, go with the option spoken to and around them the most often.
Cut the baby talk already! Your child’s intellect is suffering.
*I originally published this in 2007 via Yahoo Contributor Network
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