How to Speak Baby in French - Baby Talk Words

Smiling mother holding baby daughter overhead on bed
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Just like any other kids around the world, French children use a vocabulary that is quite different from what an adult says. Most are two syllable words, often the same syllable repeated twice. Or with a slight variation, just as in "Maman" and "Papa".

List of French Baby Talk Words

Yes, the first sound a French kid does is a real challenge for English speakers! 
It doesn't mean anything. It's like gaga goo-goo, but that's what French people say to a baby - I guess they too need as much training as possible on this French R sound!​

Young kids may say "mama" but the French word is "maman". There is no shorter version such as Mom.

That's Daddy. Again, no Dad, Pops etc... in French

Tata / tatie
For Auntie. It's short for "une tante."

Short for oncle.

Short for "Mamie", but many kids call their grandma "mémé". Other words include "grand-mère", "bonne-maman"... Note that "une mémé" can have different meanings in French, such as an old person, or a young girl that goes into mischief... 
Ma fille est une vraie mémé !
My daughter is really a trouble-maker (but in a cute way).

Short for "Papi" (or Papy) - formal French would be "le grand-père" or "Grand-Papa", "Bon Papa..."

Le lolo
Le lait.

Le dodo
The act of sleeping, or going to bed. We say: "Au dodo !" Get to bed!

Le nounours
This one comes from "un ours" and in both words, you should pronounce the final S. It's, of course, a teddy bear.

Le doudou
It's not what you think... Un doudou is actually a stuffed animal or teddy, or blankie a kid sleeps with. Not to be mistaken with...

 Le caca / le popo
Which is poop. We'd say "faire caca".

Le pipi
More of almost the same... that's pee :-) Again, we say "faire pipi" - to go wee-wee.

Le prout
This one is a fart. The formal French word would be "une flatulence" (very formal) or "un pet" (common French)

Le zizi
Weenie, penis. "La zézette" is for girls.

Let's change subject, shall we?

Un dada
A horse. "À dada" means "on your horse" - it may come from an old song, I'm not sure.

Un toutou
A dog. I don't think there is a specific French baby word for cat. I guess "un chat" is simple enough. After "Papa" et "Maman" (and of course "non") "chat" was the first word of my daughter. The next one was "papillon" (butterfly).

Un bobo
Almost like in English, a boo-boo. 

Voilà, now you're ready to handle a French kid!

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Chevalier-Karfis, Camille. "How to Speak Baby in French - Baby Talk Words." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Chevalier-Karfis, Camille. (2020, August 27). How to Speak Baby in French - Baby Talk Words. Retrieved from Chevalier-Karfis, Camille. "How to Speak Baby in French - Baby Talk Words." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 2, 2023).