Go to top of page

Baby talk

-
Language

Duration/age

Duration: 
Suitable for children: 
Location: 
Skills this activity improves: 
Mother holding baby up level with her face

Your baby could hear you talking even before they were born. They recognised your voice right from the start. They might not understand the words that you say, but they will be listening and learning.

You can talk about what you are doing right now and what you are going to do.

It’s time to change your nappy. Here we go - onto the change table. Let’s take off that wet nappy. I’m putting it over here in the bucket. Here’s a lovely dry one. All done.

We are going shopping now. Let’s get the bags and into the car we go. Buckle up, click, clack, there’s the seat belt. All safe now.

Walk around the garden with your baby and show them the plants. This could become a routine that you do several times a week.

Look, Markus, here’s the blossom tree. Smell the flowers. Oh, they smell good. Here’s the prickly bush. Ouch! Here’s the one with big leaves. You can touch the leaves. They’re soft, aren’t they?

When chatting with your baby use your family's home language. You can also chat using more than one language.

Bonjour bébé. Hello baby.

Materials you will need

  • Your baby
  • Your voice

Why does this matter?

Your baby will be beginning to learn about words. Even if they don’t understand everything that you are saying, they will be learning that words convey meaning. As you repeat some words, like their name, and phrases, like ups-a-daisy, they will begin to recognise them and to respond.

Talking to your baby in your home language helps them develop a strong language structure. Babies are born capable of every human language sound. They retain the languages that they hear all the time.

Babies learn to understand many words long before they can speak. 

What does this lead to?

The more language that babies and children hear and the more words they learn, the stronger their language development will be. We use language all the time to communicate our thoughts and ideas, to find things out and to get what we need.

When you use lots of different words with your baby they will be developing a wide vocabulary to help them do this. This will also help them as they learn to read.

Language to use

  • Bedtime, bath time
  • Let’s read a story
  • Look at the tree
  • Here’s your teddy
  • I love you
  • Let’s wrap you in your blanket. Nice and warm.

Questions to use

  • Where are your toes?
  • Where’s Daddy? Where’s Mummy?

Useful tips

  1. Look at your baby when you are talking to them.
  2. You might also like to take a look at the Singing with your baby activity.
  3. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • Play silly word games with your baby. Try saying lots of words that rhyme with your baby’s name. 

Language to use

  • Ruby-dooby-wooby-hooby.