We had some baby talk going around here when the girls were little. I’ve read that it is a normal and temporary state for some children. It can be brought on by changes within the family – a new baby, beginning school, different family circumstances. I don’t know if any of these were associated with my daughter’s baby talk when her brother came along, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Perhaps she noticed that when Corban was age 2 he was getting attention for the cute way he talked and was mimicking that. Whatever the case, I tried to nip it in the bud. I want to give you some tips for how to handle baby talk if you are dealing with it in your own home.
It is not a good idea to scold or make your child feel bad about this talk. Instead, I would calmly say, “I can’t understand you or help you when you talk like that. When you talk like a big girl, I’ll listen to what you are trying to tell me.” I might also say, “Try that again, please.”
Compliment her when she talks like a big girl. Talk about how you appreciate how well you can understand her and how her vocabulary is impressive. I also tried talking about how much I love having big girls in the house. It is so fun and helpful to have kids that act with so much responsibility. I talked about all the things a big kid gets to do so that I can celebrate the girls being older.
Your child may be crying for extra attention, so try and get some focused time with her/him. Give clear expectations if it continues too much. Say, “That voice is frustrating to me. I am going to ask you to head upstairs and come on back downstairs when you are willing to use a big girl voice.” If you are out someplace fun, you can say you’ll need to leave and follow through if they do not stop talking like a baby.
Have patience. It won’t last forever, and will be a shorter experience if you calmly meet your child’s needs and teach them through it.