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Your baby's speech and language development

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. You don't need to be an expert to help your child develop good communication skills. All you need is a listening ear and the willingness to chat to your child whenever you can. When you talk, listen and respond to them you are helping them develop.

The 2 to 2.5 year review provides an opportunity to discuss and promote the child's health and development at home, in clinic or childcare setting. If your child does not develop as expected they could be offered more support

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