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How should you interact with a baby?

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My friend has a 7 month old baby. I don’t have much experience with babies, and I disagree with how they interact with him. I think this type of behavior around babies is extremely common. Baby talk, high pitched voices, peek-a-boo, making stupid faces and unintelligible noises that represent nothing, saying overly unrealistic and fanciful things that the baby can’t even understand. Most baby toys are also really stupid IMO, even by baby standards, and I’m concerned that they may screw the babies up epistemologically. 

It’s not that I don’t like babies, but that I don’t want to interact with them in such “babyish” ways. Admittedly, I’m struggling to put my finger on exactly what I object to here—what does the term “babyish” mean if not in a manner that’s appropriate for a baby? If I had a baby, I would be more apt to carry him around with me while I do regular things, or try to think of ways to stimulate him that are based on helping him grasp objective reality. I get that maybe I just can’t relate to being a parent, am just too boring and slow witted to thing of anything to say to a baby, and that times when you just might want to do anything to make a baby smile, laugh, or stop crying. But how can you do this without doing things like making dumb giraffe sounds when you’re not a giraffe? 

Edited by happiness
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Motherese

Do not feel like you need to talk motherese. The regular continuous caretakers can give that a whirl. Just be yourself. My husband has one grandchild, whom I have known since he was born. He is now 21. Let your eyes do their natural things with his. You won't need to think about it. He is learning the world and people on his own motivation. Babies around the world develop fine under very different ways, by culture, they are cared for by adults. Relax.

babies

 

Edited by Boydstun
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/25/2022 at 4:19 PM, happiness said:

My friend has a 7 month old baby. I don’t have much experience with babies, and I disagree with how they interact with him. I think this type of behavior around babies is extremely common. Baby talk, high pitched voices, peek-a-boo, making stupid faces and unintelligible noises that represent nothing, saying overly unrealistic and fanciful things that the baby can’t even understand. Most baby toys are also really stupid IMO, even by baby standards, and I’m concerned that they may screw the babies up epistemologically. 

It’s not that I don’t like babies, but that I don’t want to interact with them in such “babyish” ways. Admittedly, I’m struggling to put my finger on exactly what I object to here—what does the term “babyish” mean if not in a manner that’s appropriate for a baby? If I had a baby, I would be more apt to carry him around with me while I do regular things, or try to think of ways to stimulate him that are based on helping him grasp objective reality. I get that maybe I just can’t relate to being a parent, am just too boring and slow witted to thing of anything to say to a baby, and that times when you just might want to do anything to make a baby smile, laugh, or stop crying. But how can you do this without doing things like making dumb giraffe sounds when you’re not a giraffe? 

 

 

I agree.  I think we should take into account the topics we discuss with babies and kids but never dumb ourselves down.  Maybe a slightly friendlier tone is ok, but nothing un-intelligible imo.  

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