PARENTS

Mums Are Better At Baby Talk And Dads Should Cut It Out To Help Their Child's Language Skills

20/05/2015 12:56 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 12:59 BST

Do dads spending time with their babies and toddlers use baby talk? The sort of coo-ing, sing-song, high-pitched voices that mothers put on?

You might be surprised by the answer to this question.

One professor in Washington was keen to find out, so he strapped audio devices to mums and dads for an entire day to see how they interacted.

While mums definitely did address children with this baby talk, dads did not... but it proved to be beneficial.

baby talk

Mark VanDam presented his study to the spring meeting of the Acoustical Society of America yesterday.

He found fathers spoke to their children in the same way they spoke with adults.

VanDam argued this could be because women are more likely to vary the pitch in which they talk anyway and it helps them connect with children on a more intimate level.

There have been similar studies before, which suggested that baby talk is good for a child's development as it introduces children to a more melodic way of talking.

However according to VanDam for fathers, it's not the same.

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VanDam said that fathers are the "bridge for preschoolers to the outside world" and while they didn't use baby talk, they did vary their volume, as well as using slightly different and more basic words when talking to their baby.

By using more varied words and an adult intonation when speaking to their child, it helps the baby learn how they should connect to others.

“The basic idea is that mums provide the link to the domestic, more intimate type of talk, while dads provide the link to the outside world,” said VanDam.

“In that sense, mums and dads provide different kinds of experiences that give kids more comprehensive exposure to what kinds of language they need in the real world.”

He is hoping to do further studies on this subject looking at single-parent families, as well as same-sex households.

So mums, carry on the baby talk, but dads? Perhaps you best hold off.

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