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Baby talk

Your baby will start learning about language and how to communicate as soon as they’re born. They’ll listen to you and learn from your tone, facial expressions, body language and daily experiences before they start copying noises and, eventually, speaking simple words.

Over time, they’ll start to connect the right noises and words to actions and develop an understanding of language.

There are a number of ways you can help your child learn and develop language, including:

  • Talking to your baby as much as possible right from the start, e.g. describing their behaviours or daily activities as you’re doing them
  • Spending as much time as possible being face-to-face with them so they can see your facial expressions and focus on what you’re saying
  • Giving them time to respond and then repeating the noise so they understand how to take it in turns in a conversation
  • Encouraging them to make longer noises by repeating them back
  • Understanding what specific noises mean and repeating the correct words back, e.g. if they say “dadadadada” you can say “daddy” back

Using a dummy

Try not to let your baby suck on a dummy all of the time as this stops them experimenting with their tongue and lip movements. Make sure they’re able to join in a conversation with noises as much as possible.

If you’ve tried all of these techniques and you’re still not seeing any improvement after four months, please contact your health visiting team.

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