mother speaking baby talk to infant


Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast

#1: Why Baby Talk is Good for Language Development

with Ann McKitrick



We all know that people use a different tone of voice when they talk to babies, like what we would typically call ‘baby talk’. Researchers have identified this sing-song, high pitched, slow speech with a name… “motherese,” “parentese,” or IDS (Infant Directed Speech). 

These speech characteristics are observed in all languages as parents and caregivers engage with babies. And there’s a lot more to it than just the way it sounds.

In this episode, we explore the one thing that almost every person does, an instinctive way of interacting with a baby that is exactly what a child needs in the first year of life. 

Here’s a glance at this episode…

  • [01:47] A 3-day hike through the Grand Canyon
  • [04:57] How you speak to your baby the moment they wake up
  • [05:34] What is parentese?
  • [06:43] What baby talk has to do with your baby’s development
  • [10:50] Our vocal fingerprint
  • [13:48] What can you do with this information?

Click here to listen!


Some haikus I wrote after our Grand Canyon adventure:

You don’t even know

How totally strong you are

Essence of the hike

Why are you so dumb?

Putting rocks in your backpack

Buy them at the store!

(This last one needs a little context. One of the girls on the trip had 2 pets at home: a dog named Willingham and a goldfish named Dinner.) 

The fish is Dinner

Willingham is quite hungry

The fish is dinner


Follow on Spotify


Please take a chance to follow the podcast on Spotify. It’s the best way to be notified when a new episode drops each week. These bite-size episodes are perfect for listening during daycare drop-off, an evening walk, or a quick workout.




Setting Rules to Guide Your Toddler’s Behavior

House rules are important, but did you know that it is also beneficial for their behavior development? Learn about why house rules promote good behavior

Playing Peekaboo With Your Child

Do you have a young child and wonder why they love to play Peekaboo? Read about why they love to play this popular game and how it helps with their development.