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Babies communicate from birth, but learning to talk is a skill that must be learnt.

Whatever you are doing with your baby, talk to them, and give them time to respond with gestures and sounds. Quite soon, you will be able to have a conversation as your baby responds to your speech, and you respond to their cries and smiles.  

Play is the main way that babies and toddlers learn about the world. With your help, it’s also a wonderful way to support their language development. You are your child’s best playmate so try to spend time every day playing together.

Babies enjoy physical play, especially when you gently tickle their face or count their fingers and toes. When your baby gets a little older and stronger, offer a small toy or object that’s safe to go into their mouth, such as a rattle or spoon, and talk about the object. “Here’s your rattle…" "Can you hold your spoon?”.   

You don’t need lots of toys to play. Your baby can play with safe and simple things from around the house (see treasure baskets).

Make sounds when you play together, like “brmm, brmm” as you push a car along, or "woof, woof "when you look at a book with a dog in it. Your baby will soon listen and in time, start copying you. 

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