->'''Craig''': He's called Alfie.
->'''Baby Alfie''': [''gurgles in BabyLanguage'']
->'''The Doctor''': Yes, he likes that, "Alfie". Though personally, he prefers to be called "'''[[DeathbringerTheAdorable Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All]]'''".
-->-- ''Series/DoctorWho'', "Closing Time"

Often in fiction, babies who can't talk yet are treated as having their own esoteric language, similar to AnimalTalk. Adults can't hope to understand this language without magic or phlebotinum, yet it's usually understood by all babies regardless of national origin. Usually this will be the center of the plot for that particular story, although it may occasionally be used as a throwaway joke.

Whether the babies have an intelligence to match their language varies greatly. In some works it may just be a cute-sy version of HulkSpeak. In others the babies may in fact be geniuses, and unable to share their brilliance with the world -- [[LaserGuidedAmnesia what a shame they forget it as soon as they begin to actually communicate]]. In others the children seem to be relatively intelligent, but with poor decision skills and naivety, making them less capable. This last one is usually the most successful, but any of these forms can result in awkwardness if not handled well.

Creepily, this might have an element of TruthInTelevision. Studies show that babies actually understand far more words than they’re actually able to speak because they’re so uncoordinated. It's called passive vocabulary. So for the first few years of life, it's very similar to communicating with the more intelligent pet animals.


[[AC: {{Comics}}]]
* One ''ComicStrip/BabyBlues'' strip revealed that Hammie (at the time a toddler) could perfectly understand his younger sister Wren's baby talk, as well as speaking English. Zoe (a kindergartner) observed that she must have grown up too much as she couldn't make any sense of baby talk anymore.
* This was the premise behind Sheldon Mayer's classic comic series called ''Sugar and Spike'', that all babies, no matter what species, spoke a universal "baby language".
** Sugar and Spike appeared in one issue of the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' spin-off comic (which appears determined to not only have dafter plots than the series, but even more obscure guest stars). Batman gets turned into a baby, and can instantly understand them.

* ''Great things'' by Creator/RoseOfPollux involves a little bit of this on the part of one of the Doctor's companions, whom he goes back to visit as an infant.

* ''Film/BabyGeniuses''
* ''LookWhosTalking'' had some of this.

* In P.L. Travers' original ''Literature/MaryPoppins'' stories, babies could talk to each other, and also to animals and inanimate objects.
* In ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'', toddler Sunny spoke in subtitled gibberish. Her speech was translated in the books.
* Apparently, in ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid,'' Manny knows several toddler slang terms. The only one we hear is "Ploopy," which Manny apparently considers quite offensive.

[[AC:{{Live Action TV}}]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': "A Good Man Goes To War" reveals that the Doctor can apparently speak baby. His companion doesn't buy it, and he calmly retorts "I speak everything". With the translation circuits, this may actually be true.
** Back once again in the episode "Closing Time", where the Doctor spends much of the episode translating a baby for his father, Craig. Incidentally, the baby calls Craig and the Doctor 'Not Mum', everyone else Peasants and himself "[[DeathbringerTheAdorable Stormageddon]], [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Dark Lord Of All]]."
*** At the end of the episode that all changes. (Also, despite the Doctor's efforts to seem like he never appeared, Alfie's first actual spoken English word is Doctor.)

* In ''Webcomic/MotherlyScootaloo'', a ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' Tumblr comic, apparently Lightning Blitz fits this, as the [[http://motherlyscootaloo.tumblr.com/post/38132224316/askdiscordwhooves-and-now-for-a-quick-spoof Ask Discord Hooves]] crossover shows (this makes sense, since it's [[Series/DoctorWho the Doctor]] in pony form he's talking to).
* This is one of the hallmarks of ''Webcomic/{{Kurami}}''; the titular infant's "speech" consists solely of "gek gek" and variations thereof.

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' is an interesting case in that three-year-olds like Angelica and Suzie can talk with the baby characters as well as with the adults.
* Kate from ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' did this. However, she could talk to Pal, the dog, implying that her BabyLanguage was on the same level as AnimalTalk.
* Stewie on ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' may be an example, [[NegativeContinuity depending on how the writers feel that day.]] Stewie can speak perfectly, yet the family and most other adults are presumed to not being able to understand him (only Brian and most side characters can understand him). It gets lampshaded at one point where an angry Meg demands to know who was talking about her and everyone immediately blames Stewie, causing him to say "Oh, so now everyone understands me?" WordOfGod also says that everyone ''can'' understand Stewie, but choose to ignore him most of the time.

* As mentioned above, babies do acquire a huge amount of passive vocabulary. Some psychologists recommend teaching babies to use sign language beginning at about nine months.
* It's also been proven that babies worldwide make roughly the same sounds until around six months, when they begin to copy the sounds of the language(s) used around them.