New research says that the occasional 'um' and 'er' can actually help children develop good language skills, as it provides a signal that something important and new is about to be said.
Scientists claim the delay in actually making a coherent statement gives the child time to mentally prepare to absorb the information that's about to be imparted and as result, encourages them to listen more carefully.
The findings come from a US study on three groups of children aged 18 to 30 months. The effects were only apparent on the children who were older than two, and who were able to construct sentences of between two and four words long.
Celeste Kidd from the University of Rochester who conducted the research said: 'We're not advocating that parents add disfluencies to their speech, but I think it's nice for them to know that using these verbal pauses is OK - the 'uhs' and 'ums' are informative.'
What do you think? Makes sense, or a load of, um, nonsense?
Who says babies can't talk?