Help in a crisis during Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

During this COVID-19 pandemic there may have to be changes in the way some of our services work. Please contact the service directly to check how services are being delivered and follow their advice.

The national suspension on visiting inpatient areas has been lifted. Please contact the ward you wish to visit in advance for guidance and instructions for a safe visit. 

If you need help in a mental health crisis during Coronavirus pandemic outside office hours please contact our crisis team: Help in a crisis

For other medical advice and support contact your your GP or visit NHS 111

Only visit your local Emergency Department for serious life-threatening conditions that need immediate medical attention including persistent severe chest pain, loss of consciousness, acute confused state, severe blood loss, serious burns, suspected stroke.

Listen and talk with me

A mum interacting with her baby Talking to your baby

You can talk to your baby before they are born. They will be able to hear the rhythms and tone of your voice, so go on - talk to your bump! As soon as a baby is born they will start to hear and respond to the noises around them. Watch carefully and soon you will see they are listening to you too! You will already be showing them important skills they will need to learn to talk.

Gradually babies start to respond, particularly to their parent’s voices and faces. Show you are listening to them by looking at them, smiling and nodding.

Spend quiet time together without the distractions of TV, radio, music or phones so you can listen and respond to each other. Try and be face to face with your child at their level so they have chance to really look and focus on your face and gestures.

They may start to copy your facial movements e.g. sticking their tongues out. Show you are listening by copying this. You can start a first ‘conversation’ this way by leaving time for your baby to stick out their tongue and then responding back.

Later you can do the same with raspberry noises and speech sounds such as ‘bbb’ and ‘mmm’. Your baby will be learning the basics of conversations and talking from you.

Tell the names of things they see, such as “look… dog… woof”. Tell them the names of things they are interested in. Talk to them about actions and emotions, such as ” oh dear, you are tired” or “granny gone, bye granny”.

 

When your child starts to talk

Give them plenty of time to talk. This is really hard for them! Listen to what they are trying to say, and try not to jump in too soon.

As your child starts to say a few real words, don’t worry if they don’t say things quite right at first. Listen carefully to what they are trying to say and just repeat it back the correct words. For example, if they say “bu” for bus say,  “yes…a bus”. You can also add a word or two e.g. “bus.. a big bus” or “bus.. the bus is going , bye bye bus” etc.

Try not to ask too many questions at first. Instead, tell your children the names of things, actions and descriptions of things they experience. For example, say “that’s a soft ball” rather than “what’s that?”.

As their language skills improve (roughly at 3- 5 years, but this will depend on your child’s language stage) you can ask questions that allow them to extend their thinking. For example “I wonder what will happen next?”.

You may find the I'm ready to join lots of words together leaflet useful [pdf] 2MB

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