Talking with babies

Babies talk to you in so many ways. 

Instead of words, in their first year they talk with their: 

  • Eyes 
  • Smiles 
  • ‘Goos’ and ‘gaas’ 
  • Facial expressions
  • Cries 

Talking with your baby from the day they are born is really important. It helps to build connections in their brain. This will give them the skills to listen, take turns, make sounds and say their first words. 

So, chat with your baby every day. While they can’t respond with words, watch how they can respond in other ways. 

Talk to your baby about everyday things, such as:

  • What you are doing?
  • What you are eating?
  • What you can see or feel or smell? 

What can babies usually do at 6 months?

  • Smile at familiar faces.  
  • Babble.   
  • Make eye contact.  

What can babies usually do at 12 months?

  • Respond to their name.  
  • Makes and copies sounds.  
  • Say words like “Dada” and “Muma”  

This is a just a guide for what you can expect. Every child develops at their own rate. Your child may be faster or slower at talking and listening than others.  

If you have any concerns about your child, talk to the educators at your local Child and Family Learning Centre, your local child health nurse or family doctor. Find out what to look out for to see if your child needs extra help with speech and communication.

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