Is “baby talk” okay or should I speak to my baby like I would to an adult so that they will be smarter?

Babies and toddlers benefit from hearing language that is fun to listen to.  “Parentese” is a term used to describe the sing-songy rhythm in the voice of a parent or caregiver.  It is great to use parentese as it draws the infant’s attention to what you are saying. It is also important to note that as children begin to use sounds, they often simplify words such as “wa-wa” for water.  It is okay for adults to use these terms, but be advised that the child also be exposed to hearing the real name.  For example: “Yes, wa-wa.  I see you have water”.