Baby Talk: Pros and Cons | News | Loyola Medicine
Saturday, May 23, 2015

Loyola speech language therapist deciphers the pros and cons of baby talk

MAYWOOD, Ill – (May 19, 2015) - Is baby talk bad for your infant’s speech and language development?  “Sometimes baby talk is associated with nonsense words and sounds and even distorts sounds of words, providing inaccurate models of the infants and developing child, this is not encouraged,” says Kathleen Czuba, speech language therapist, Loyola University Health System. “Research in the field of child development and speech and language acquisition instead recommends the use of ‘parentese.’  This type of speech has been shown to positively support the development of speech and language.”

“Parentese” has been shown to have positive benefits when used with developing infants.  Here are some tips from Czuba to start using “parentese” with your child:


  • Speak in a sing-song voice.  Change the intonation and melody with which you speak.
  • Use a higher pitch.
  • Slow your speech. Use elongated vowels and consonants.
  • Speak with precise pronunciation and accurate grammar.
  • Exaggerate your facial expressions.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat

Address any concerns about a child's speech and language development or literacy skills with a certified speech-language pathologist. Loyola speech and language pathologists provide evaluation and therapy services for individuals with communication, cognitive and/or swallowing impairments. Patients range in age from newborns through the elderly. Loyola's experienced, certified and licensed speech/language pathologists are committed to  speech impairment prevention, rehabilitation and education.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.