Talking to your baby up to 1 year old

As your baby reaches 1 year old, their understanding of speech and language will improve. Earlier babblings will become recognisable as simple words like ‘no’, ‘more’, ‘mumma’, and ‘dadda’.

Around this time, your baby may be able to respond to simple requests like ‘Show me your ball,’ or ‘Give me a wave.’ They may also be pointing to objects they want.

You can encourage your baby’s communication development even more with the following ideas.

Play physical games

Physical games are activities that don’t include toys, such as tickling and bouncing. Your baby will probably enjoy the predictability and repetition of songs like ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ and ‘Round and Round the Garden’. They will start to copy the gestures and actions.

Blow bubbles

Talk to your baby as you blow bubbles. Describe how a bubble floats, reflects the light and pops. Clap and praise your baby as they reach toward them.

Play taking turns

Learning to take turns is a great way to help your baby learn conversation skills. They will listen for their turn to respond to your words or actions. Try taking turns to cuddle the dolly and say who is holding it.

Count together

At this stage counting is more about interacting than learning numbers. Count out loud when you are going up the stairs, or have fun counting your baby’s fingers and toes during bath time.

Make the most of mealtimes

Enjoy the face-to-face time you have as you introduce your baby to more solid foods. Sit facing them and describe what they are eating, ask questions about how the food tastes, and name the equipment they are using.

Make music together

Your baby will love to make noise with homemade instruments. They can bang pots and pans, shake dried rice in a plastic bottle, or  bang their hand on a box. Try doing the same, allowing the exchange to go back and forth as you take turns to make the sound. Consider banging the box as you sing, tapping on each syllable, or part of the word, to help build their vocabulary.