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Talking to your baby

It is so important to talk to your little ones from birth or even as early as pregnancy, let’s see why…

But what do I say?

Some parents can feel slightly silly talking to a baby or a baby bump as they are not getting a verbal response, but the importance of doing this is so your baby becomes familiar with your voice and learns how to communicate as they grow.

When you are pregnant it may be a nice idea to set aside some time at the end of the day to talk to your bump about how you’re feeling and how your day has been, this helps form a bond and attachment between you both, and you may also notice your baby moves to the sound of your familiar voice.

When baby is born, get used to talking to them as you would to any other member of your family. For example asking them if they are hungry or tired or need a nappy change, although they are not responding verbally, it helps them associate what will happen during the day as part of your routine together. When you are out walking and baby is in the pushchair, talking about what you can see on your walk, the colours of the flowers or the sounds of the cars.

If talking to your baby is part of your routine, before long you will not even realise you are naturally doing it. Did you know parents who just talk as they go about their daily activities expose their children to 1000-2000 word every hour!?

Babies do respond

You may think your baby isn’t listening or understanding what you are saying to them, but their brain is like a sponge, and they are taking in everything that is said, babies even respond to non-verbal communication such as smiling or frowning.

A very young baby may appear to stare at nothing for a period of time, this is a babies way of processing, allowing their brain to grow and create new connections. As your baby gets older, they may turn to you and make eye contact when you are talking, smile at you when you smile at them, and make sounds and babble as their own way of verbally communicating to you.

Responding to them is also important for them to feel secure, for example if they cry out or make a sound letting them know verbally you are there for them and can hear that they need some attention. It is also important to reduce distractions when communicating, turning off the TV or putting your phone down, so you can be present when talking to your baby.

In the first year of life more than 1 million new connections are formed in a babies brain and the way the brain is shaped depends on their early interactions with others, so you can see how important it is.

ChatHealth Logo

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-5 years called ChatHealth. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a health visitor within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the service reopens.

Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.

This page was last reviewed on 18-11-2021

This page will be next reviewed on 18-11-2024