safe motherhood

How your baby develops

Communicating with your baby

Babies want to communicate (in other words, play) with the people they love. Here are some ideas for games. If your baby doesn't seem interested just now, don't force it. Try again in a few weeks' time.

From about six months:

• Sing action rhymes such as 'This little piggy went to market' wiggling each of your baby's toes as you name them.

• If you've forgotten all the old nursery rhymes, try Playsongs, a book and tape from NCT Sales: 0870 112 1120

• Play give-and-take games. Support the baby in a chair and pass a toy that can be held in both hands. Say "Please give me the ball" and hold out your hands to receive it. Then pass it back saying "Here you are. You can have it back."

From about nine months

• Point out your baby's favourite things and name them;

• Tell your baby the words for 'eyes', 'nose', and 'mouth', pointing to your own face. And then say: "Show me your nose!" or "Where's your nose?"

• Carry on using rhymes and action songs that you baby can try to sing along to.

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