SureBaby Blog

Gorillas Using Baby Talk? Why Not!

Posted by Alissa Robson

Turns out, gorillas are even more like us than we thought! Mom gorillas have been found to indulge in a bit of so-called “baby talk” with their little ones, just like us.

Well, not exactly like us. Rather than use verbal communication – think “mummy-wummy” and “sweet wittle baby” etc. (sorry, we’re horrible at baby talk!) – gorillas use a form of gesturing to communicate with their babies that may help them develop their own communication skills.

Just like we simplify words to their most basic forms (“wawa” for water, “baba” for bottle, etc.) and repeat them often, gorillas simplify their gestures and touches, often repeating them more or making them more play-based – somersaulting, playful slapping or touching on the head.

Because gorillas communicate largely through touch and physical signals, this method of communicating with infants will help them adopt the same physical cues that older gorillas use at a quicker pace.

Verbal “baby talk”, with its techniques of slowing words down and using a cooing tone, has so far been found to be exclusive to humans, we do share in gorilla “motherese”, as well– along with baby talk, many parents use playful gestures, exaggerated physical responses and other physical cues to communicate with their babies.

As if we needed another excuse to monkey around with our babies! What do you think of the findings on “baby talk” in gorillas? Did you indulge in baby talk with your kids?

Leave us your best baby talk phrases in the comments – we promise not to make fun!

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