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12 to 23 months

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Sandwell Keeps Talking 12-24 months

From 12 months onwards, children start to explore and try out new things.

They begin to move around the room independently and enjoy playing with toys by themselves for a short time.

They are also communicating and developing their language skills.

You can help your child to develop language by reading books and pointing to familiar objects in the story. Let your child take the lead when you play with them. Talk to them about what they are doing for example " are you giving Teddy a drink?" or "are you watering the flowers?"

Singing songs and rhymes, talking about what is going on around them, what they can see and hear, repeating words and short phrases will encourage your child to develop speech and language skills and become more confident.

There are lots of things you, your family and friends can do to help your baby develop their language skills. It’s really easy - you might be doing it already without even noticing.

12-23 months Advice and Information

Sandwell Health Visitor Service    0121 612 5021 

Talk to your health visitor about any worries or concerns. They can give you advice about your child's development. 

Children's Centre Family Offer

Children's Centres provide support to families with children and young adults 0-19 years (up to 25 years if they have special education needs or disabilities).

They offer family support, early learning , information and advice on health, parenting, money and benefits, education and school readiness. 

There are lots of free services and activities at your local children's centre

Speech and Language UK  12-23 months

This is a guide to how children develop speech and language between 12-23 months. Children develop language at different rates. However, understanding what is typical can help you identify speech and language problems early.  You can also find out how to help your child learn to talk and develop their communication skill. There are lots of things you can do to encourage your child to talk and develop language skills.


Every child in England is entitled to a free Bookstart pack before they are 12 months old and again aged 3-4 years. Bookstart also gifts additional needs packs for babies and toddlers, as well as black-and-white booklets for newborns and dual language books.

Contact your Health Visitor or local library to find out more about your free Bookstart pack


Join your local library

Libraries are welcoming places for children and families to start exploring books and reading. There are lots of activities and events at your local library and helpful, friendly staff to advise you on what to read to your child. Libraries are free to join and have books in different languages and formats. Your child is never too young to visit the library.

How toddlers come to name everything

Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. At around 18 months, children go through a naming explosion, when they start rapidly learning the names of things. Why do they do this? Find out more about how your child starts naming things when they play.

 Respond to my toddler's first words

Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. By 18 months, your toddler might be starting to say a lot of single words - often naming things that they see, hear and touch. But what's the best way to respond to them? Can you help them to build their skills more quickly through the way you respond?

Should I lead or follow my baby?

Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. You might be tempted to try talking to babies and toddlers about lots of different things at once in order for them to learn more vocabulary. However, Professor Ben Ambridge shows one family how it can be better to chat to your baby about the things they're already concentrated on. Find out more about the science behind following your child's lead.

Shopping Game

Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. Pretend play can help your little one understand everyday life. Try a shopping game with objects from around your home and give your child the chance to use new words and follow simple instructions. Playing at home with everyday objects is a great way to share the fun and boost your child's language development.

Sing me a rhyme

Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. It's no surprise that little ones love nursery rhymes, but did you know that the actions and repetition helps them remember words more easily? Try singing a variety of rhymes with them over and over, how many words and actions do they know?

Sing songs and rhymes and talk about what is going on around you. Talk about what your toddler can see and hear. Repeat words and short phrases. This will encourage your child to develop speech and language skills and become more confident communicators.

Watch a video about improving early child development with words.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald talks about the importance of interaction between parent and child and the simple practice of talking to babies and toddlers to nourish their brains and set them up for better performance in school and life.


Early Voices Parent Leaflet. Communication skills are important. They help us get to know each other. When your child is older communication skills will help them make friends and do well at school and in life. Try these top tips to support your child's communication development.


Black Country Early Outcomes Speech and Language Development Cards

Easy to read advice and support about how your child is communicating with you and tips on how to help  "I can and you can help me by"

Why your touch is great for your baby's development

Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. It might seem obvious, but babies love to feel your touch. It makes them feel calm and secure and helps them to bond with you.

But did you know that it benefits their health and development too?

How can peekaboo help babies to learn?

Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. It's no secret that peekaboo is a hit with babies around the world and a great way of entertaining them even at a very young age.

But did you know that this simple game can play a really important part in their early language learning as they wait their turn to react?

This wait and respond pattern could be considered an early form of conversation as they learn all about taking turns.


Watch the video - Why a game of peekaboo can change the world



A guide to social and emotional development for birth-5 years

Your baby's social and emotional development plays an important part in their overall development and mental wellbeing. Supporting this during the first 1001 days of a baby’s life is a crucial time for their brain development, they will then build on this throughout the first 5 years of their life.


What to expect,when?

Guidance to your child’s learning and development in the early years foundation stage. This booklet divides your child’s first five years into the six age bands to highlight what you might notice your child doing at these points. Every child is different! Children do not grow and develop at the same rate. After each age band there are some ideas and tips as to how you can help your child’s learning and development. 


Universally Speaking

The ages and stages of children’s communication development. From birth to 5 years


Talk Together

Helping babies and young children learn skills for talking.

Sandwell's Talking Tips

Sandwell’s Talking Tips

10 tips to help support your child's language development.

Get to know these tips and use them as part of what you do every day with your child.

Early Years Practitioners should also familiarise themselves with Sandwell Talking Tips and embed these tips in to their Early Years development planning.


12-23 months Courses

Changes - the early years

free online and face to face courses in Sandwell for parents of children aged 0-4 years

Parenting classes in Sandwell

free classes at your local Children's Centre

Help and Support

Help and advice

Sandwell Health Visitor Service    0121 612 5021 

Your health visitor will be able to offer advice and support about your child's development. Always contact your health visitor about any worries or concerns you have about your child's health and development.


What can I expect from my health visitor

Sandwell Family Information Service

Sandwell Family Information Service can help you with free, impartial information, advice and guidance on family support and childcare.


Check out these websites for more tips and information on talking to your baby

Hungry Little Minds

Tiny Happy People