Babies are adorable little balls of cuteness. When you babysit or hang out with younger members of your family, you never know what to expect. Even simple things like looking at clouds in the sky or playing with their cereal in the morning make them happy. It’s so much fun and satisfying to watch them learn more as they grow.
Parents love it when their babies learn to walk and talk for the first time. It’s amazing to think that one day they’ll have full conversations with their own kids and might even learn something from them. It’s usually pretty funny and a lot of fun to watch babies figure out more about their surroundings and make comments about them.
When he spent time with his granddaughter, Grandpa found this to be true. The two of them seemed to be having a lively conversation, but it was hard to tell what they were talking about because they were both using baby talk and silly voices.
The touching moment was caught on video in 2012, but it wasn’t put on YouTube until 2017. Even though the audience may not have been able to figure out what this grandpa and this baby girl were talking about, it seemed like they understood each other perfectly as they had a sassy conversation full of funny sounds and expressions. There’s no doubt that they had a great time together.
Even though baby talk is fun to hear and fun to use with kids, some people think that adults should try to avoid using it when talking to each other. In July 2021, Dr. Kristyn Sommer, a mother with a Ph.D. in child development, gave some parenting advice on TikTok. She said it’s best to avoid baby talk and say words the right way. Sommer said that when she talks to her own child, she slows down, draws out the sounds, and says each word clearly.
But there’s no denying that babies’ speech is cute and funny to listen to, and it’s not uncommon for adults to use the same tone and sounds when they talk. In 2012, a video was made of a funny and sassy conversation between a grandfather and his granddaughter. It was finally put online in 2017.
The baby in the video had a lot to say, and the grandpa was happy to answer her in the same language she was speaking. Even though it’s hard to tell what they were talking about, it’s clear that they were having a good time. They used funny voices and words that didn’t make sense when they spoke.
Some studies show that this kind of nonsense baby talk that doesn’t use correct grammar or words is fun to listen to, but it doesn’t help the child learn. Even if it’s fun to talk back to your little kids like the grandpa in this video, “good” baby talk is proper, normal speech, even if it’s said in a higher voice.
“True baby talk, which a new study shows can help babies develop their brains and speech, is actually proper adult speech that is spoken in a different rhythm,” writes CNN. They also say that Naja Ferjan Ramirez, an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Washington, said, “It uses real words and correct grammar, but the pitch is higher, the tempo is slower, and the intonation is exaggerated.”
Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, went on to explain the main ideas behind good baby talk:
“One of them is that its overall pitch is higher, by about an octave. Another thing is that the intonation curves are very curved; the highs are higher, the lows are lower, and it sounds excited and happy. Then it gets slower, with pauses between phrases to give the baby time to join in this social interaction.”
Even though grandpa doesn’t use correct grammar and words in this video, he definitely has all the other tips down pat, as he always gives his granddaughter a chance to respond and actively involves her in their conversation.
A lot of people on the internet thought the video was great and said so in their comments. “As the grandfather of 15 kids, I’ve had this conversation many times,” said one person. “Probably the most important conversation on the internet,” said another user. Someone else said that the video had a beautiful message: “It shows that no matter how old you are, what matters most is the time you spend together, not what you say.”