No Baby Talk For Neil Patrick Harris

There’s a ban on baby talk in the Harris-Burtka household. Actor Neil Patrick Harris says that he and his partner David Burtka prefer to speak to their toddler twins Harper and Gideon like “regular people.”

“My parents always talked to my brother and myself like we were regular people and not babies,” the How I Met Your Mother star tells PEOPLE. “So I don’t talk down to them in baby talk. I try to talk to them even though they can’t speak the language yet.”

Now 15 months old, the twins have moved into a cuddly phase – much to the delight of their parents.

“They’re thankfully in the new huggy, clingy, head-on-shoulders phase, which is fantastic. It’ll brighten up a sad day every single time,” gushes the How I Met Your Mother star.

Filed under: Neil Patrick Harris

Photo credit: FameFlynet

  • Anonymous

    Oh seriously, more pretentious parents trying to be better than everyone else.

    • Anonymous

      Has it occurred to you that he IS better than everyone else?

  • SMH

    Actually I agree with him. I can’t stand parents who baby talk to children. I know parents who still do it to their 5 year olds and you know what their 5 year olds act like 2 yr olds!

  • Ella Jackson

    This is the best way to teach toddlers of 15 months to talk, but babies under one year do best when they are talked to in ‘baby talk” – using a higher pitched voice, slow speech and enunciating words very clearly. See teachbabytotalk .com

  • Anabelle

    I wouldn’t mind if he was just saying that he personally doesn’t use baby talk, that’s fine, but it annoys me that he says that everyone who does is “talking down to” their babies, or not treating them like “normal people.”

    • Anonymous

      I agree with Anabelle. He comes off like he’s a better parent because he speaks to his child like he would an adult.

      It’s one thing to talk “baby” talk to a BABY…it’s a whole different situation when your talking to a 5 yr old as if he’s a baby. then they will act like a baby, I believe

    • Iris

      That is not what he literally said, he talks about how his parents didn’t use the ‘babytalk’ and that he doesn’t use it either. That is just how you interpreted it.
      But anyway, I have to agree with NPH, esp. toddlers learn how to speak faster if you do not use ‘babytalk’.

  • Anonymous

    actually, i dont blame him. baby talk is extremely annoying :/ if i have a baby it wont get baby talk from me!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t find this pretentious at all! I cannot stand baby talk. Talking in a higher register is not baby talk but merely catching their interest where baby talk is saying made up words or how some parents add Y on the end of everything. Ducky, horsey where is your baba? your soosoo? The best way to teach is to lead by example and therefore to speak in correct terms.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t blame him BUT I’ve read that babies feel more paid attention to or nurtured when they’re spoken to in the “baby talk” way. It’s a way they can feel comforted.

  • Anonymous

    There have been several studies that have shown that use of “baby” language aids in the development of speech. When you use baby talk you tend to exaggerate pronunciation which help them make out the words.

  • Sarah M.

    I agree with him, as well. I have worked with and been around many different children over many years. I’ll make random noises periodically just to be silly and to potentially cheer them up, but when I speaking to them with words (most of the time this is the case, obviously) I use the real words with my voice higher. They do need to learn the noises things make, but they also need to learn what the things actually are! I’ve seen other adults out with kids and for every item they see, they refer to it by the noise it make to the child. And these are children 2 and older! “Do you see the woof woof. Look at that! It’s a woof woof!!” It’s NOT a woof woof, it’s a DOG!!!! That’s just the sound it makes. They could at least mention what the animal actually is in there somewhere!!!

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