What’s going on for baby?

From very early on, a baby is learning to communicate. They’ll explore what sounds they can make with their lips, and may learn to blow raspberries, gurgle and coo, and make simple sounds like ‘ba’, ‘pa’, ‘ma’ and ‘da’.

They’re also learning the sounds of the languages people speak around them, and may begin to recognise the name of someone or something they have heard often. This will include their own name, and they may show recognition by turning when they hear it.

How can parents and whānau help?

  • Listen to baby and copy their sounds, so baby is encouraged to keep communicating with mum and dad.
  • Use ‘parentese’ in whatever languages whānau speak.
  • Talk face-to-face with baby, so they can watch the speaker’s mouth as they make sounds.
  • Give baby time to ‘reply’.
  • Take turns when having a conversation with baby — your turn, then baby’s turn. This way baby starts to learn the process of sharing through having turns.
  • Talk with and sing to baby often.
  • Share simple board books together.

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