Gaga- Toddler Language

When toddlers begin to talk it sounds really amusing, especially when they mix their words up or they can’t quite pronounce things, it all sounds a bit goo goo gaga.

Everyone always loves it when you can communicate with a young child and begin to have a two-way conversation. What is really astounding is their level of comprehension at such an early age. Although a toddler can’t necessarily speak clearly, they are absorbing information from their environment all the time.

Toddlers may not speak fluently but they can sure let you know what they want and usually that is accompanied by some noise or behaviour signals! They get so frustrated when you don’t understand what they are asking for or pointing to, it almost becomes a game of charades in the kitchen!

Some parents talk to their children in a ‘baby voice’ and may refer to pets or animals saying, ‘look at the doggy’ or ‘pussy cat’, rather than say dog or cat. Is this confusing for them because actually you are encouraging them to say more than is required or does this evoke a good feeling inside for adults when they revert back to this baby language? Does it actually do them any harm, it depends on the child and how good their interpretation is.

I feel it is kind of similar to when you have two parents who are from different countries and have different mother tongues. In my experience children will relate to their parent in the language they speak to them, however some children to speak one language only, although they may fully comprehend another.

Does speaking Gaga do children any harm, should adults only use full words or is it ok to talk on their level? When a child is learning a new language it is important to speak slowly and clearly and repeat the word they are trying to say and eventually they will say it correctly. By copying their baby ‘language’ you are actually encouraging them to keep using those words, whether correct or not.

Some people find this cute and often as I said earlier it can be amusing but when your child develops on to the next stage it would be wise to move with them and correct their pronunciation, so they can be proud of their words and self-development.

When a child has moved on from the baby stage and is at a rapid learning period a wise parent or carer would be supporting their growth and new knowledge and giving them praise for their efforts until they grasp new words.

The gaga days don’t last too long and some parents particularly feel they are losing ‘their baby’ when their son or daughter begins to walk and talk and want to some how retain that baby phase unfortunately children do grow up fast in those first two years and if you try and hold them back you will more than likely be faced with a big tantrum of disapproval.

My advice would be to let your child develop at their own pace and the more you encourage and correct them their language will not seem gaga for long and others will delight in being able to understand your child too, including grandparents who may be gaga too!