Parentese: More than Just Baby Talk



Have you ever found yourself talking to your baby in a ‘baby voice’? Research has proven that this ‘baby talking’ – known as parentese or motherese – is one of the best and easiest ways to help your baby learn to talk.  

What is Parentese?


Parentese tends to happen without us noticing. We talk to babies sloooowly, exaggerating certain words, and with lots of repetitions. Your voice might be higher pitched than usual, and you might use exaggerated facial expressions.


This kind of speech is more exciting for babies to hear, and you will hold their attention for longer. Babies love when we make interesting noises with our speech!  It also lets them hear when individual words finish, and discover new and interesting sounds.


Top Tips for Parentese

  • For best results, make sure your baby is watching your face and engaged with you
  • Use a sing-song voice to increase your little one’s engagement in what you are saying
  • Opportunities for parentese can be found during different activities – bath time, bottle time, play time, and bedtime
  • Repeat and emphasise key words, for example:


“Hello Dolly! Dolly is in the car! The car goes ‘vroom vroom’!”

“Look at you crawling! Crawling like a big boy!”


Try using these tips today to have a chat with your little one!  


If you get stuck or would like more strategies – get in touch with us at Speech Therapy Services.