Talk to your baby

It doesn’t matter what you say – just talk!  Your baby is born thinking you are the most interesting, funny and clever person in the world.

Your baby will have heard your voice in the womb (both mum and dad) and learned to recognise it. So when you talk, he or she feels safe and interested.

And babies learn more from being directly talked to than from just hearing people talk around them.

It is best if you are face to face and use an interesting voice, but if you can’t do that, then just talking will do.

Try any of these top tips and see which you both enjoy most:

  • Talk during the daily jobs and routines – nappy changing, bathing, getting ready to go out, getting into the car seat and so on.  Tell your baby the story of what is happening every time – it will help them learn the words and the routines all in one!
  • Notice what your baby is looking at, and talk about it – the cat jumping on the worktop, letters dropping though the letterbox, snow falling outside – these are all great opportunities for your baby to hear and learn new words
  • Carry baby around and show him or her things – talk about the weather, what you can see out of the window, toys, anything.  It may seem boring to you, but it is all fascinating and new to your baby and will be for some time.
  • As your baby gets older, try talking when he or she is not looking at you – see if the head turns to the sound of your voice
  • If you do baby massage with your baby, this is a great time to talk about different parts of the body, and to use words like “soft” and “gentle”
  • Put 3 or 4 objects that feel or look different in a bag or pillowcase.  Choose things that are safe for them to chew – babies use their mouths to explore.  Take one thing out, show it to baby, and talk about how it looks, feels, smells.  Let your baby reach for it, mouth it and hold it if they can.
  • Your baby will enjoy talking to other babies too!  If you go to any groups, or just out and about, place your baby so they can see their friend – sitting on laps or lying side by side.  See if the babies look at each other – and once old enough they may try out some sounds with each other

See it through your baby’s eyes in these videos