I have another serious and grim confession to make: I sometimes speak baby-talk to Julian.
Now, I don’t speak that way often or exclusively, but I’ve noticed something charming about the little guy. He responds well to it. Sometimes, when he’s cooing and making pre-speech noises — am-boo-goo and baba wawa and all that — I’ll respond in adult sentences, and he catches my eye and watches me and goes back into his baby talk. But sometimes, when I simply repeat back what he’s said, he catches my eye and gives me a big grin. And who doesn’t love that.
My feeling is, babies learn to speak, in part, by repeating sounds they hear from the adults in their lives. So if I model that repetition by sometimes repeating his sounds, how’s that a bad thing?