Whatever age our children are, as parents we have an amazing role as ‘brain builders’. Daily positive communication with our children will support their emotional, language and social development. The earlier we start the better, and we encourage you to download our free Baby Buddy app to receive daily information to support you as parents and help you look after your baby.

Babies recognise their parent's voice from the womb and will recognise their face by the end of their first day. Babies are born ready and wanting to communicate. Mums, dads and partners can encourage this by talking and singing to their bump, and also having lots of eye contact and skin to skin contact once their baby is born. Bonding boosts levels of the hormone oxytocin in mum, partner and baby, providing a sense of calm and wellbeing.

Babies are born ready and wanting to communicate

Babies’ speaking and listening skills are blossoming long before they utter their first word.  From the moment babies are born, they are ready and wanting to communicate. Humans are pre-wired to be interested in faces and voices. Babies recognise their mother's voice from the womb and will even recognise her face by the end of their first day.

New born babies can copy the facial expressions of another person, like poking their tongue out or opening their mouth. This turn-taking is where conversations begin. Encouraging early communication is the most important thing parents can do to give their child's language the best possible beginning. 

As your baby grows and develops, there are lots of things you can do to have fun together and that will help him or her learn about the world. 

We have filmed some of our Best Beginnings parents spending time with their babies and we want to share with you these wonderful examples of baby communication.  Dr Liz Kirk has studied these films and shares her tips for encouraging baby communication through songs and play.

An important way to begin bonding with your baby is through communication. This clip features a baby communication expert talking about the importance of communicating with your baby, even before they can talk.



Talking with your baby

Ellie, 2 months old, taking turns in a lovely conversation with her mum Katie. 





Watch Dr Liz Kirk's commentary on this clip to find out what makes it such a good example of baby communication, or read on to find out more.




Katie gets Ellie's attention by gently calling her name and you'll see just how happy Ellie is when she locks eyes with her mum. What follows is a really lovely conversation between Katie and Ellie, with Elie responding to her mum by cooing, opening her mouth and moving her whole body. Katie responds, encouraging Ellie to continue the conversation. 

From birth, babies can take part in conversations like these. Babies will need a lot longer to respond, so remember to pause for a good few seconds after you've spoken to them to allow them time to take their part in the conversation. They might open their mouth in response to you, coo or wave their hands in excitement. 

Games like peek-a-boo provide a wonderful opportunity for all important face-to-face time. Babies also love being gently surprised and you'll see that Ellie really enjoys playing peek-a-boo with her mum.

Playing with your baby

Monika and her 11 month old daughter Svara enjoying playing at home. 



Watch Dr Liz Kirk's commentary on what makes this a wonderful example of baby communication, or read on to find out more.


Simple play like this is a great opportunity to encourage your child's early communication. Mum and baby are taking turns rolling and passing the ball to one another and they are also taking turns 'talking' to each other. What we are seeing is a beautiful verbal and nonverbal conversation between mother and baby. 

Monika is really good at reading Svara's mind. Monika asks Svara, 'Do you want to give Mummy the yellow ball?' but she notices that Svara has her eye on something else and is reaching instead towards the blue ball in Monika's hand. Monika notices this, reads Svara's mind and says 'Oh you want it back' and hands Svara what she wanted. 

Noticing and responding to your child's cues in this way is what psychologists call 'Maternal Mind-Mindedness' and has been shown to be a great way to encourage babies' early language as well as their emotional development.



Singing with your baby

Babies love nursery rhymes, and the rhythm of songs and rhymes helps with their language development. Songs with actions in them, like all the ones we have included here, are especially good because babies can join in with them by rocking their body or doing the actions with their hands, long before they can sing along. 

You'll see in 'The Grand of Duke of York' film below just how much Svara enjoys joining in with her whole body. Monika sings the song a couple of times and each time Svara laughs just as much, if not more with every repetition.   




By singing nursery rhymes over and over babies will learn to recognise the songs and will remember the actions. You will get bored of singing the same song long before your baby will tire of hearing it!

Monika does something brilliant and pauses after she has sung the rhyme once she asks Svara 'Again?' This invites Svara to respond, which she does using her voice and waving her arms in excitement. 



Sharing songs is a great way to encourage your baby’s early communication. You don't need the voice of an X-Factor finalist for your baby to enjoy your singing, neither does it matter what you sing. We've included nursery rhymes here, but your baby will equally enjoy it if you sing a top ten hit or an advert jingle. As long as your baby is face to face with you, they will benefit from sharing songs with you.


Natalia, 11 months, and her mum Alicia singing Incey wincey spider:

What's lovely about the garden is that there is no background noise from anything like the TV or the washing machine.  Without this noise Natalia is better able to listen and learn about different sounds and words.  Given the British weather getting outdoors is not always possible, so when at home turn off the TV and the radio and enjoy quiet time at home so your baby can get the most from spending time with you. 


Incey Wincey Spider is another great action nursery rhyme that babies and young children love. Notice that Natalia knows the song so well that when Alicia sings 'If you see a crocodile' Natalia throws back her body in anticipation of the tickles that she's about to enjoy! Even though Natalia can't yet speak you can hear her trying to say 'row row'. Through singing nursery rhymes, Alicia is teaching Natalia about different speech sounds and giving her the opportunity to practice them.  Nursery rhymes are brilliant for encouraging children's early speech.

Natalia, 11 months old, enjoying singing 'Row, row, row your boat' in the garden with her mum Alicia:


What's lovely about the garden is that there is no background noise from anything like the TV or the washing machine.  Without this noise Natalia is better able to listen and learn about different sounds and words.  Given the British weather getting outdoors is not always possible, so when at home turn off the TV and the radio and enjoy quiet time at home so your baby can get the most from spending time with you. 



Incey Wincey Spider is another great action nursery rhyme that babies and young children love. Notice that Natalia knows the song so well that when Alicia sings 'If you see a crocodile' Natalia throws back her body in anticipation of the tickles that she's about to enjoy! Even though Natalia can't yet speak you can hear her trying to say 'row row'. Through singing nursery rhymes, Alicia is teaching Natalia about different speech sounds and giving her the opportunity to practice them.  Nursery rhymes are brilliant for encouraging children's early speech.

If you would like to see more videos and learn more about your baby download our free Baby Buddy app!