6-12 months

Sandwell Keeps Talking

Leading health experts around the world agree the first 1001 days of a child’s development influence a child’s future more than any other time in their life.

From 6 to 12 months, your baby will be developing quickly, babbling, gesturing and recognising some words. They want to communicate with you, making noises and sounds and eventually using single words.

When something grabs your baby’s attention, they have lots of ways to show it. They might stare, point, or make a noise.

Start to develop their communication skills by playing peekaboo games, using your hands to hide your face, saying things like "Where are you?" and "I see you"

Use actions like waving when you say "hello" and sounds like "yummy" when feeding your baby.

Singing rhymes and taking turns with your child will help them to develop early speech and language skills.

There's lots you can do to help your baby develop their language. It’s really easy - you might already be doing it without even noticing.

6-12 months Advice and Information

Sandwell Health Visitor Service    0121 612 5021 

At 9-12 months your child will be seen by a Health Visitor for a development check.

WellComm: Ideas for encouraging language development in 1-year-olds

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 6-12 months

This is a guide to how children develop speech and language between 6-12 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.

Help your baby develop their language 

Tuning into your baby's interests

Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. A really simple way of helping your baby with their language learning is to talk to them about the things that capture their attention.

If there's a particular toy or object that they're looking at, name it and talk about it. This helps them to connect the words you say with the things they see.

Your baby is constantly learning from new experiences. Playing with them is a great way to share the fun and boost their language development.

The baby club- playing with porridge oats

Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. Your baby is constantly learning from new experiences! You can help by introducing them to new textures, such as porridge oats. It's a great opportunity to boost their language development too.


Early Voices Parent Leaflet

Top tips on what parents, family and friends can do 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"


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.

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



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.


Big Book of Ideas
6-12 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

Page last reviewed: 21/06/2023


Get in touch with us

Family Information Service

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