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Health Facts

General Health


Toddlers & Children




Talking To Your Baby

From the time of their birth babies can recognise the sound of your voice and at the age of just a few minutes old they will look at your face, intently studying it. Talk to your baby from the very beginning of their life. Babies and young children love the sound of your voice. It reassures and comforts them and it gives the baby a chance to get to know you. It also helps them to develop good communications skills which will help them when they go to school.

As time goes bye your baby will start to make sounds, cooing at you. Have a conversation with your baby by copying these sounds. You coo and they will coo back. This helps then to learn the structure of conversation

Make use of any opportunity to "have a chat" with baby - at bath time, Change time or even at during a feed. Talk to them in soothing tones about what you are doing. "It's time for your bath now" "I'll undress you so that you are ready' You like your bath don't you. Don't think your baby or child doesn't understand you - they will understand what you are saying well before they can speak. Talk about your day to them. What work was like, what you picked up at the shops, who is going to look after then tomorrow.

Encourage conversation by playing games, counting fingers and toes and tickling games are always good. Talk to baby about his or her toys and make the sound the toy makes eg brmm brmm for a car. It is important for baby to hear different sounds for the formation of speech.

Sing songs to your baby. It doesn't matter what you sound like - baby will love it. Babies and small children love nursery rhymes but if you don't know any or cant think of one at the time - sing anything you like. Sing when baby is happy or sing (soothingly) when he/she is upset.

Reading to children is a fantastic way to encourage communication. Make sure there are no distractions when you share this special time with your baby. Turn off the TV or the radio and find a comfy spot to sit together. Start with something simple with lots of pictures. Read the words to baby and talk about the picture. Praise the child as he / she starts to interact with you. Your child may point at the pages or try to copy a name. Their interest in books at this time will encourage their love for them later in life.