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Congratulations on the birth of your baby.
Becoming a new parent is often exhausting but also a magical time. Your baby is ready to learn and grow with you.
Take a look at some ideas you, your family and friends can do to help your baby learn new things.
If you need extra help or have any questions, your Health Visitor will visit you between day 10 and day 14 after the birth.
Sandwell Health Visitor Service 0121 612 5021
Health Visitor New Birth Visit Day 10-14
Health Visitor 6-8 weeks Maternal Wellbeing Visit
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 0-6 months
This is a guide to how children develop speech and language between 0-6 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.
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.
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.
During your first visit from your Health Visitor you will be given a Bookstart pack.
Contact your Health Visitor or local library to find out more about your free Bookstart pack.
Watch this video to find out more about Bookstart packs and how to use them.
Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. Even before they're born, your baby's brain is busy making connections. Literally, the neurons or nerve cells are making new links with each other all the time. A newborn baby has about fifty million connections or synapses and by their first birthday, that's multiplied to a thousand million.
Start early to help your baby learn to talk.
The first few years of a child's life are key to the development of speech, language and communication skills. Your baby will enjoy interacting with you from the moment they are born.
You can help their development by facing your baby when you speak to them, taking turns to make sounds with them, singing rhymes and lullabies, reading simple books and chatting about what you are doing when you bathe or feed them.
Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. Face-to-face chat and play is a great way for babies to start to learn from birth. By seeing facial expressions and watching how mouths move as they make sounds, they begin to learn about language.
Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. Did you know that babies are short-sighted when they're first born? This means that they struggle to hold their attention on things that are happening too far from their face. One of the best things you can do from the very start is to get up close and let them watch your face as you talk.
Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. Babies' vision is a bit different to adults' - they can't see things unless they're nice and close. But eye contact does play a key role in their learning.
By making eye contact with your baby and looking at the things they're talking about, you can help them make connections between your words and the world around them.
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.
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"
Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video. Ever find yourself speaking in a 'baby voice' whenever you talk to your little one?
It's something a lot of us do naturally, but does it help your baby to learn in the long run? Professor Ben Ambrose tests the idea with Hannah, Mike and Chelsea.
For more tips on how you can boost the communication skills of 3-6 months, check out our Tools for Talking film.
Watch BBC Tiny Happy People video.When you speak to babies, even though they're a way off saying words, it's important to leave a gap and take turns to make a noise or movement.
This lets them learn about the back and forth of conversation. And when you respond, it shows them you are paying attention to them.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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