Talking to your baby up to 6 months old

After birth, your baby uses crying as their only way to communicate wants and needs. After 3 months, they will begin to use their voice and body.

Their ability to express emotions will develop through facial expressions, sounds and body language. You will see them begin to smile, laugh, make cooing sounds, and move their arms and legs when they’re interested or excited.

Some babies begin to make some vowel sounds around this time, such as ‘ah-ah’ or ‘ooh-ooh’. They will begin to recognise your voice and their own name. They will also start to understand the routines they are experiencing.

You can build on the way you communicate with your baby by trying the ideas below.

Enjoy some ‘conversations’

If you hear your baby make a sound, repeat it and wait for an answer. You're teaching your baby valuable lessons about tone, pacing and taking turns. You can start to enjoy a two-way exchange of smiles and sounds.

Stay focused

Don't interrupt or look away when your baby is making sounds. Show that you're interested using eye contact and gentle smiles. This sends the message that your baby is important enough to listen to, and that your little one can trust you.

Explore places and spaces together

Make the most of your everyday routines to chat to your baby. Sing while you cook dinner, chat on the bus or in the car, gently splash water in the bath.

Name body parts and objects

Point to part of your or your baby’s body and name the body part. For example: ‘This is your nose. These are your feet. This is your mouth.’ Use everyday experiences as a chance to point things out and name them.

Sing in an animated, tuneful voice

Continue to sing songs and rhymes with actions and repetition. At this age, babies love songs with a surprise, or a 'boo!'. They will show enjoyment by squealing and shrieking. Introduce your baby to their body with gentle touching and tickling.

Listen to music

Listening to music with your baby is a great activity to help with language development. Music has a beat and changes in intonation. This can help your baby understand syllables, the different parts of the words.

Be brave

You may feel embarrassed or self-conscious when you chat and sing to your baby. But you don’t need to have the voice of an angel. You are your child’s first educator, and seeing your child’s enjoyment will build your confidence to do more.