Talk with your baby – Getting started

By Words Grow Minds January 23, 2024 2:55 am

Talking with your child is one of the most important things a parent can do. Simple back-and-forth conversation is important for brain structure and function, reading skills, and socio-emotional development. 

Your facial expressions, body language and words will show your child that you’re interested in what they are doing and communicating. 

Here’s a few simple tips to get you started! 

Talk from the beginning 

Babies learn to communicate by watching your face and your mouth. They are born ready to communicate with you! Talk to them early, and often, and watch as they start to use words of their own. 

Face to face  

Chat with your baby about what you are doing while you’re doing it – no matter how simple! Make sure they can see your face and expressions as much as possible. Whether it’s while changing a nappy, cooking dinner, bath time or even just while having a cuddle, they love to hear your voice.  

Home language 

All children need is a rich language environment around them – and it doesn’t have to be in English! Babies need to hear fluent speech to learn sounds and words, so talk in the language that you are most comfortable with. 

Listen and repeat 

Babies need to make a range of sounds and use these before they are developmentally ready to use talk. Let your baby lead the way as you listen the silly sounds they make as they are learning and make sounds together throughout the day! 

Practice, practice, practice! 

Babies and toddlers need time to practice new skills. Let them babble…and respond to them! The more words a child hears, the more they will know when they can understand and use them later as they develop. Just keep chatting!