Speech, language and communication for babies

Talking is one of the most important life skills your child will learn. Everyone’s journey is different but if you’re a parent in Oldham, there’s plenty of support and information available to help you and your child on your way to great communication.

It’s an exciting time when your baby starts to communicate with you. There’s lots you can do to help, such as copying sounds your baby makes to encourage more noises, talking about what you are doing to help them learn words, and waving as you say “bye-bye” to help them relate actions t words.

You should try to avoid looking at your phone or tablet while you’re helping your baby learn to communicate 

Things to look out for

Every baby develops language at a different speed, so understanding what’s typical can help spot any issues early. There might be concerns if by 6 months they:

  • are not startled by loud noises;
  • do not make eye contact when spoken to;
  • do not smile back at someone smiling at them;
  • do not watch a speaker’s face with interest.

What to do if you’re concerned

If they aren’t responding to noises by 9 months, or pointing to things by one year, you should speak to your GP or health visitor. 

If your baby has a childminder or goes to nursery, you could chat to them about your concerns and they can work with you to make an action plan. Go through it t out about the Well Comm toolkit 

If they don’t attend, you can get advice from the Right Start team at your local Family Hub or children’s centre.

If you think your child might be stammering, there’s a charity that offers information and support. Visit Stamma

Where to find other help and support

There are plenty of organisations and groups in Oldham that can help parents when their child is learning to talk:

Some extra help

  • For a 6-week plan for getting your baby babbling and talking, head to our Chatterbox pages
  • This website has printable leaflets, a poster and video clips alongside their top ten talking tips. Visit Greater Manchester Top Ten Tips for Talking
  • This programme is led by professionals and aims to help you teach babies 0- 18 months their first words. Access Building Blocks to Words
  • The BBC has lots of tips and videos about language and bonding, broken down into ages ranging from 0 to five years. Visit Tiny Happy People
  • Simple, fun activities for kids from newborn to five. Find out more at Hungry Little Minds

Not sure how to make learning fun? Visit Oldham’s 50 things to do before five

Mother and baby playing